I know you aren't posting as often lately, but I have a question that I just haven't really found an answer. [I'm trying to do better...]
I've looked around for ideas of how many words a typical novel is. One blog entry I read that a new author typically falls between 62,000 and 75,000 words. I'm currently at almost 35,000 words. I've looked through my WIP and can see I areas that I guess could fill in maybe 15,000 words (hopefully). At that point, hopefully in editing, I could find some areas to fill in. But what if I only hit about say 50,000 words. Is that too short to consider? I should add the WIP would be considered in the romance or chic lit. My biggest part of the question is what is too short for a novel? Is there a number that most publishers like new authors to hit near? Thanks.
How many words should your book have? The easy answer is: as many as it takes to tell the story.
And that's true.
But what is needed to tell the story and what's not is based on opinions. So here are some general rule-of-thumb guidelines.
Genres for the adult reader (including romance and chick lit), are generally 80,000 to 100,000 words.
Genres for older children (both Middle Grade and Young Adult) or for certain types of inspirational novels, are generally 50,000 to 90,000 words.
In my opinion, 50,000 words puts you in the novella category and publishing contracts for novellas are rare(er) these days. I'd suggest adding a subplot or two to expand your story and getting it nearer that 80K mark.
If you have a particular publisher in mind, go check their website for Submission Guidelines (or something similar) and see if they have recommended word counts for their genres.
For other takes on word counts, visit here and here and here.