I threw a lot of information in the last post about the industry standard for a novel. Especially a first time novelist without a book deal, looking for an agent. (Let's face it- VERY VERY few novelists have any kind of deal made before writing and querying their novel. Those lucky folks may have a deal to write a long novel.) But, for the vast majority of us, we have to follow the "rules".
It can be a tricky thing because the rules are ever-changing in the book industry. There are fads and trends to deal with. There can varied opinions out there too... every single agent is looking for very particular things and finding the right one at the right time with the right novel can feel downright impossible.
Aside from these factors, there are also the anomalies that we hear of with such great popularity that we feel that they ARE the norm. Such as: Twilight. Very long book. Stephenie Meyer's first novel. It was plucked from the slush pile and became a phenomenal hit. Harry Potter: Very long book. Also plucked up as an unknown author and instant stardom. I will admit that the urban legend of books like these made me think that long novels were more of a norm.
Therefore, as I stated in my Writing Journey Part Two: I was a bit blindsided by the fact that my first novel was WAY too long. To shed more light on this topic from an expert, I have attached a link to Writers Digest talking about this very same issue that another poor author ran across. At least I'm not the only one...