I have been stressing over my word count a lot since I started editing. I managed to slash about 35,000 words, but my novel still looks like it’s going to come in at about 130,000 words. It’s high, I know it is, and I don’t want to make excuses for it. You bet I’ll be asking my beta readers for advice on what else can be cut.
Here’s some information on acceptable word counts for different genres (picture book through young adult) written by @literaticat : http://literaticat.blogspot.com/2011/05/wordcount-dracula.html
This former agent, Colleen Lindsey backs that up here (and she’s got word counts for adult novels at well:
It seems that if you’re a debut novelist, it’s best to play it safe. Even for Adult Fantasy, the ideal is 100k at the high (though I’m still at the high end of the range).
Just like film, books require a tight edit and a merciless editor leaving perfectly good scraps on the floor until the strongest pieces are left shining and polished.