The great news is that I met with my publisher, Neal Levin of Dark Quest Books. The novella I finished on Friday, the one that rounds out the planned print collection, was supposed to weigh in at about 30,000 words when I queried him about the series last year. The finished story weighs in at about 50,000. I anticipated that I'd have to knock at least 10,000 words out of the manuscript, just as a matter of course, but I'd already cut a lot of fat. Honestly, I think it would have been easier to let the story expand to full novel-length than to shorten it any more than I already have. The other two novellas in the volume are 30,000 and 25,000 words long, respectively. My old publisher at the late, lamented Drollerie Press was very keen that all three stories be similar in length.
Neal's verdict: The word count is not a problem. There is no need to cut just for the sake of cutting.
Now, if it turns out that there are ways to make the book better by making it shorter, I'm completely game for that. For now, it's really nice to be able to breathe about something I though would be a really big deal.