Is the book too long?

Hello everyone. I recently finished a ~140k manuscript. I think I did a good job but my opinion doesn’t mean much here haha. Of course, I’d love to publish this one day, but everyone in the business I’ve spoken to has said that for a first-time author without an established name, ~90k words is the limit. The way I see it, these are my options: 1. Shorten the book. I would rather not do this because I spent a lot of time trying to narrow it down. There are no arcs, beats, or characters that can be removed without crippling the story. I have a small cast and have made sure that each scene does something to move the story forward. 2. Divide it into two books. As I said, the book has several independent arcs and only at the end is the conclusion of the arcs and the questions that have been built throughout. Splitting that along the way would hurt the flow/structure I think. 3. Own publication/indie. This is an option I’ve been considering, but I realize there’s a lot to learn about desktop publishing. This book that I’ve written is very close to my heart and I don’t want to throw it out into the world without knowing what I’m doing, you know? Mostly because if readers don’t like it/it never gets off the ground it would hurt future planned books, which brings me to option 3b…3b. Write and self-publish a novel to familiarize yourself with it before doing the same with other books already written. I have a couple of mostly fleshed out story ideas that could work here, but I find it hard to build passion around them knowing that it would probably be a springboard for another story. 4. traditionally write and publish other novels and establish my name in the world of writing before submitting the first 140k word. I know things move slowly in business circles, so I’m not sure this is the path I want to start, especially since it might not help me in the end. An author friend of mine even advised me not to write word count in the cl and play dumb about it if/when I’ve caught the eye of an agent. That’s all I have at home right now. Any questions/advice would be greatly appreciated!

Hello everyone. I recently finished a ~140k manuscript. I think I did a good job but my opinion doesn’t mean much here haha. Of course, I’d love to publish this one day, but everyone in the business I’ve spoken to has said that for a first-time author without an established name, ~90k words is the limit. The way I see it, these are my options: 1. Shorten the book. I would rather not do this because I spent a lot of time trying to narrow it down. There are no arcs, beats, or characters that can be removed without crippling the story. I have a small cast and have made sure that each scene does something to move the story forward. 2. Divide it into two books. As I said, the book has several independent arcs and only at the end is the conclusion of the arcs and the questions that have been built throughout. Splitting that along the way would hurt the flow/structure I think. 3. Own publication/indie. This is an option I’ve been considering, but I realize there’s a lot to learn about desktop publishing. This book that I’ve written is very close to my heart and I don’t want to throw it out into the world without knowing what I’m doing, you know? Mostly because if readers don’t like it/it never gets off the ground it would hurt future planned books, which brings me to option 3b…3b. Write and self-publish a novel to familiarize yourself with it before doing the same with other books already written. I have a couple of mostly fleshed out story ideas that could work here, but I find it hard to build passion around them knowing that it would probably be a springboard for another story. 4. traditionally write and publish other novels and establish my name in the world of writing before submitting the first 140k word. I know things move slowly in business circles, so I’m not sure this is the path I want to start, especially since it might not help me in the end. An author friend of mine even advised me not to write word count in the cl and play dumb about it if/when I’ve caught the eye of an agent. That’s all I have at home right now. Any questions/advice would be greatly appreciated!

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