I know this is not a popular opinion, but it’s true. I have friends who are diehard fans of specific TV series, authors, movie series, movie studios, etc. One would still be watching a TV series that went off the air many years ago if it was still making episodes. The fact the series lasted long enough that it was recycling plots, tropes, character types, etc. multiple times turned me off from the series. He defended it by saying if you take plot A and use it with a different set of characters, it’s not the same plot. I disagree.
This friend is self-publishing a series of books. He originally was going with at least 20 books in this series that covers about 150 – 175 years. Worse, he’s ignoring genre rules on how long a specific genre or sub-genre could be in terms of word count. He points out popular authors can often ignore word count when they publish. He’s working on his latest book that may or may not get published on Amazon this year. He planned on finishing it last year, but got busy with too many other things, including dragging the book out well beyond the maximum word count beyond the recommended length for an author who has published several books.
For newer authors, you should go with the recommended minimum word count at the beginning. If you plan on trying to go with a traditional publisher, first finding one willing to accept you is exceedingly hard. You will need a decent literary agent and those are mostly taken. Next, you will need to follow the genre specific rules the publisher has. For example, some don’t allow time machines. I don’t recommend trying to go with a traditional publisher as many of them only accept a handful of new authors each year. Unfortunately, most new authors want to go this route. Also, if you plan on doing a trilogy or other multiple book series, most traditional publishers want you to have finished at least three books in the series before trying to get picked up.
Each traditional publisher has their own quirks and they can vary depending on who in the publisher’s ranks reads your book. This is key as a good enough agent can give you insight into who is likely going to be reviewing your book with each publisher.
I don’t plan on going with traditional publishers for a couple of reasons. First, they get most of the money from your book sales. Next, you give up so much control to the publisher. From new authors who got picked up by traditional publishers, they were shocked when the publishers did not do much marketing for them. I belong to numerous author groups on social media who were picked up by traditional publishers and were shocked when told marketing was up to the author. The exception tends to be when you have a self-published or independent published author who made it big enough before getting picked up by a traditional publisher.
If you get popular enough with a traditional publisher, don’t be surprised if the publisher takes short-cuts. There’s a very popular alternate history writer who has a traditional publisher. His books are so full of typos because the writer is popular enough that people will pre-order hardback copies and buy paperbacks too. End result the publisher doesn’t see the need to pay for proofreading. I talked to a diehard fan who explains the writer isn’t rich. My response is the writer doesn’t take pride in his work or he would pay for the proofreading out of his own pocket. As much money as the writer gets for his books, he is rich enough to pay someone to proofread them.