Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie

ATTN AUTHORS & Author Wannabes!!


Her Crankiness is at it again. That scrunchy face eye roll thing.

“Good grief!” Mom flounces. “Not again!” (“Flounces.” Isn’t that a great word? No idea what it means. But Mom likes it. So I do too.)

Now what? says I, Kimber the Magnificent. You know. The level-headed one. All even-keeled and imperturbable. (No idea what that means either. But it sounds good, huh? Can I eat it?)

Well. Gonna cut to the chase here. Save you some time. As in:



Can you hear us in the back?


Because if it’s one thing that drives Her Royal Crankiness super-cranky, it’s authors who misrepresent their work. Try to disguise political polemics as “fiction.” Peddle their pet personal agenda as “kiddie lit.” Or ruin a perfectly good novel with all sorts of Pecksniffian sermonizing about their Issue Du Jour.

Another big No No on its way to the Big Kitty Litter Box in the Sky? Authors who misrepresent the length of their book. Fudge on the  word count. Or number of pages.

Like, when Mom only has time for a book that’s “20,000 words or less.” She filters books available within that word count. Finds one or two that fit. Downloads ’em. Opens ’em. Only to find that said book(s) is not only NOT “20,000 words or less,” but it’s more like 80K or 100K.

Not. Happy.

Someone. Ain’t. Happy. (Hi, Mom.) And if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Trust me.

It happens all the time on Reedsy/Discovery. It’s one reason why we’re expanding our search for newly available books to review elsewhere.

Example: The other day Her Grumpiness downloaded a children’s/middle grade book listed on R/D at “6000 words.” Turned out to be over 55,000. Whether the inaccuracy is intentional or not, no way is a 55K tome “6000 words.”

It happened again. The Very. Next. Day.

An action/adventure book claimed to clock in at “0-1000 words.” It was actually 70,000 words. Now. If Mom’s looking for a 55K or 70K word book, that’s one thing. But if she’s looking for “20K or less” and the author posts their word count within that parameter when it far exceeds that number in actuality, that’s a problem. A Big One.

Like, don’t be these authors:

So. Not. Cool.

Call it a sleight of hand. An “oops” moment. An honest mistake. Or a bald-faced lie. Any way you slice it, it’s inaccurate and misleading. And it ticks Mom off royal. (You so don’t want to be in that dog house. Trust me again.)

Now, an author that misrepresents word count, either intentionally or otherwise, is just asking for a negative book review. We’re happy to oblige.


So here’s a tip, authoroo (throwin’ this in for free):

If you’re looking for a glowing review of your magnum opus and can’t figure out how long it is or how to activate “word count” and be honest about it, good luck. Cuz misrepresenting the length of your book right out of the gate is enough to make us hawk up a hairball before we hit page one.

Get it real. Get it right. Or we may just not bother.

Are we clear? Hmpf!


7 thoughts on “ATTN AUTHORS & Author Wannabes!!

  1. Amen! Well said. Nothing is worse than being misled about a book.

  2. Yikes, that’s is not cool at all. I’ve never looked at Reedsy for books. I get 90% of mine from NetGalley.

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