This post popped up in my Facebook memories yesterday.
Now, let’s get a closer look.
Aside from the obvious difference in word choice/reading level, there is a noticeable difference in length. The marketers must think guys don’t have time to read their body wash labels before they buy.
For the record, I’ve never read a body wash label in the store. I wonder if anyone has. These descriptions are better left for those times when you forget to take your phone to the bathroom when you may be there awhile.
Seems to me guys would need a longer body wash description for that purpose. Ha!
Let’s talk word counts. The men’s wash has 37 words, counting the hyphenated ones as one word, like Word does.
The women’s wash has 77 words. That’s more than twice as many words as the men’s wash.
It made me wonder if there are word-count guidelines for advertising copy, and I realized that there has to be. Industry standards and all. And you would think the word count has something to do with the size of the bottle, but that’s not true in this case. The bottles were the same size.
So it comes down to targeted readership.
(This is the part where I might be a little offended if I were a dude, but I think the purple prose of the women’s side makes up for it.)
There must be a guideline in the advertising world about word count/reading level for genre-specific products, just like there are guidelines for novels.
The question is this: How much should we worry about book length?
This post offers some guidelines. It says 80K-90K is average for a Commercial Adult novel, with Fantasy allowing for longer lengths and books like YA and Westerns being shorter (but there’s a range in all genres).
But again, does it matter much if your book is outside these parameters? From the article:
You have agents like Nathan Bransford (now formerly an agent) and Kristin Nelson who say that you shouldn’t think about word count, but rather you should think about pacing and telling the best story possible—and don’t worry about the length. Yes, they’re right, but the fact is: Not every agent feels that way and is willing to give a 139,000-word debut novel a shot.
Being an indie author, I don’t have to worry so much about book length, but readers still subconsciously “expect” a book to last a certain amount of pages/time. My books are all on the short side of the spectrum – I like my stories to be tight and fast-paced. Occasionally, reviewers mention that (especially for Drake and the Fliers, which is a YA and a little more than 50K). Even so, Project Renovatio, which is shorter than Drake, was accepted by a traditional publishing house before I ran with it myself. So maybe book length doesn’t matter as much as we think.
What do you think? Do you worry about book length?