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General Word Count Guidelines

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger on Nov 19, 2014 5:52:47 AM

How long should my novel be? That's a question I hear quite a bit from new writers. They have experience as readers, but the only thing they can accurately gauge is the page count as it applies to the length of a book. We know as writers that word count is the unit of measure with which we should concern ourselves. That being said, what is the proper word count for a book that is made available for sale to the public?


Well, of course there is no law that dictates book length. What is and isn?t palatable by the reading public is subjective. But the expectations set by the book industry years ago are a good rule of thumb to follow today. I compared the numbers on three sites that addressed this matter and came up with general word counts for the following genres.


  • Middle Grade: 25,000 to 40,000

  • Young Adult Fiction (YA): 50,000 to 80,000

  • New Adult Fiction: 60,000 to 85,000

  • Romance: 60,000 to 100,000

  • Literary Fiction: 80,000 to 110,000

  • Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense: 70,000 to 90,000

  • Fantasy/Science Fiction: 90,000 to 125,000

  • Horror: 80,000 to 100,000

  • Nonfiction: 70,000 to 110,000


It?s important to note that these numbers represent what the industry normally looks for from debut authors ? in other words, authors who don?t have established brands. Authors with a large following can and do break the word count expectations in whatever genre they specialize in. These numbers are simply to be used as a general guideline for new authors.

-Richard Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.




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