Average Word Count in Publishing
Glossary > Average Word Count
💬 Definition of Average Word Count:
The Average word count refers to the length of a book and, more precisely, the number of words typical for a specific genre.
More about Average word count in publishing
How many average words per page?
On average, there are 300 words per page, which means that if an author aims for a 300-page novel, their book should have around 90,000 words. Adult fiction should be between 70,000 - 100,000 words and can be up to 150,000 for fantasy and sci-fi books, whereas, for adult nonfiction, the average is between 60,000 and 90,000 words. Children's literature is up to 600 words, with a standard of 32 pages.
Why is the average word count important?
Average word count helps authors fit their books into a genre standard, which comes in handy when assessing who their readers are.
What is the average word count for nonfiction?
Regarding nonfiction, the average word count should be reviewed compared to the complexity of the subject presented in the book. Memoirs have an average between 60,000 - 90,000 words; biographies can go as high as 200,000 words. Self-help and how-to guides generally do not usually exceed 50,000 words.
Can authors ignore the average word count?
First of all, authors should have a great understanding of their genre and readership. Would they still be willing to read a longer book? Write with your readers in mind.
Then, think about yourself. If you feel the average word count impedes your creativity, continue writing without a thorough word count in mind. Editors and publishers make an exception for acclaimed authors or very complex subjects regarding the average word count. And, if you’re self-published, you have much more freedom to write as short or as long as you would like to.
Also, consider the book's price. How much would your readers be willing to pay for a new book?