Two weeks ago i finally found confidence to try and querry it. According to chuck sambuchino see below for word count. The average nonfiction book, if such a thing exists, runs about 50,000 words. Your guide to book word counts fiction and nonfiction. To find the word count at for a particular book, search the books title, and click on it.
Never pad your manuscript just to meet a wordcount guideline. Average word count ranges from 70,000 to 100,000 words, although biographies of major celebrities or public figures can support a higher number. What is the ideal word count for a nonfiction book in the. Nov 12, 20 coffee table books and other illustrated books may have very little text, but be very expensive to print. That often dreaded, while at the same time appreciated, element of freelance writing. Find the word count for published ya and childrens books. Whether your goal is simply to be a published author in a certain niche or you want to publish a book to promote your overall freelance writing business, your book might need an index.
With that in mind, ive tried to put together the definitive post on word count for fiction novels, young adult, middle grade, childrens books and even memoir. When talking about book length, its common to talk about word count rather than page count. Elizabeth said, for nonfiction books, it depends on the kind. The top one or two books in each category are listed at the beginning of each page. I recommend staying within or close to the recommended word count for your age categorygenre unless youve received a lot of feedback verifying it needs every word or doesnt need more if youre low. I advise authors to ignore word counts when writing. Minimum realistic word count of nonfiction book writing stack. Like a general fiction novel, a good target word count for a memoir is 80,000 words. Aug 05, 2019 for most publishers, a book is novellength when its between 50,000 and 110,000 words. Each chapter averages 3000 words and the final word count, including fact boxes, will be around 50000 words. Pencilthin books on narrow topics that are under 50,000 words are quite common. Fullcolour photographs of the birds in the garden at different times of the year will provide visual interest. Failing to mention the word count, or committing the faux pas of stating the page count instead, will also see a quick rejection. To help you cast this vision, let me tell you that most standard 192page paperback books are about 40,000 to 50,000 words.
Search for word count totals in books word counters. It is, i think, the easiest to use to quickly find the word count of a book. Your guide to book word counts as a reader, ive never felt a good book was too long, even more than a thousand pages. And remember, keeping to word counts is important, but what makes or breaks your chances with a publisher is the quality of your manuscript. Technically, in fiction, most publishers and awards consider anything over 40,000 words to be a novel, but many publishers wont look at anything under 60,000. Also, heres another list i may swipe and add in here. Minimum realistic word count of nonfiction book writing. The average nonfiction book, if such a thing exists, runs about 50,000.
Mar 11, 2014 book publishers with the highest title count in the u. Even consider contacting agents and publishers asking for guidelines before sending them a copy of a manuscript. If you spend any amount of time doing media analysis, its clear that the most frenzied moral panic surrounding young womens sexuality comes from the mainstream media, which loves to report about how promiscuous girls are, whether theyre acting up on spring break, getting caught topless on camera, or catching all kinds of stis. A way to check word count of published books anita nolans blog. In 2011, the average length of a bestselling nonfiction book was 467 pages, but that dropped to 273 pages in 2017. Know your content, know your mainline pitch and some possible permutations, create a highlevel outline, write a compelling chapter and sell that. By the fifth book, harry potter and the order of the phoenix, the word count had grown to 257,000 words. According to amazons great text stats feature, the median length for all books is about 64,000 words. As a nonfiction writer myself, i know this is tough. I generally trust best of all time lists voted by authors and experts over usergenerated lists. However, there is a wide range of acceptable word counts for nonfiction books. Word count for famous novels organized commonplace book. A good way to gauge appropriate length is to check out similar books for comparison.
For some content writers or bloggers, hitting their word count is a pain. Some nonfiction books have illustrations pictures as well as words. The binding, font and paper size establish how many pages a published book will be. The difference between fiction and nonfiction book riot. So, i made up my own word count list that suits me and all that i do. Average nonfiction word counts biographies and memoirs.
If yours is too short, restructure it and add more tightly written stuff. It is the responsibility of the author to cast the vision for the book and project a word count and finished length. The longest is the order of the phoenix with a word count of 257,000 words. However, keep in mind when we talked about how people dont know how to edit their work. Most young adult novels fall between 55,000 and 70,000 words. Rankings on weekly lists reflect sales for the week ending december 17, 2016. An algorithm is used to create a master list based on how many lists a particular book appears on.
And besides, if its just the first book in a series, like the ones youve listed, then you have further books to expand the scope and build upon an epic vibe in the first book with more words and worldbuilding. Word count for novels and books is something i dont think about too often until i travel to a writers conference, and then someone asks a simple, innocent question. While its important that every story find its natural length, it takes time to develop an instinct as. Anything above 70k but less than 115k science fiction and fantasy tend to run up around 100k115k words. A journey from oregon to patagonia, and a quest for a life with no regret.
In these cases, the overall design of the book becomes much more important than word count alone. And man, people love to point out exceptionsand they always will. Intended audience keeping up with the jackdaws should appeal to all amateur bird watchers. We all know there are exceptions, but i wouldnt count on being one. Preference for fiction or nonfiction books in england 20. If yes, then most publishers still work on specific word count lengths for books so youll probably be aiming for around 60,00080,000 words for nonfiction. I put in anne of green gables and clicked on the first entry, and it listed the word count as 17,129. It can cover almost any topic, from wild animals to vikings. With fun, lighthearted, simple middle grade youll want to stay around the 20k30k word count range. In 2011, the lists average length peaked at 467 pages. In general, fiction refers to plot, settings, and characters created from the imagination, while nonfiction refers to factual stories focused on actual events and people. Whats the average cost to hire a developmental editor for an 18k word count.
Based on this list compiled by nicole humphrey cook. Nov, 2015 the truth about word counts for childrens book is nothing is set in stone, so it can be a good idea to do as much research as possible on current expectations. The best nonfiction books by category in addition to the top 10 nonfiction books listed above, i have put together more specific book recommendations by category. Famous books and their word counts freelance writing jobs. Personally, i think 40,000 words is way to small for a novel and have read some publishers wont accept anything under 80,000ish. Again, word count shouldnt come at the cost of the story. Whether nonfiction or fiction, what drives and determines the right word count is the content. We all know of outliers within each genre that have been published well under, or well over, these word counts.
Cs lewis the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe 38,421 prince caspian 46,290 the voyage of the dawn treader 53,960 chuck palaniuk choke 70,562 fight club 53,267 rant 75,223 invisible monsters 60,930 lullaby 64,737 philip k. For example, atonement has a word count of 123,378 and my utility comes up with 110,765 words. And just this day, i received my first rejection email letter. The figure was found through looking at a number of books text stats, until brave new worlds 64,531 word count landed in the exact center of all books50% of books have fewer words and 50% of books have more words. Many, yes, but there are exceptions due to the layout and font size of a particular book. We analyzed the nyt bestsellers to see what the optimal length and word count is. I clicked on the unabridged version, and it lists the word count as 97,364. Page count is determined by the publisher, not the writer. So lets begin our calculations by focusing on word count first.
Sep 12, 2012 put a title the exact title in the search engine, then click on the title, or one of the titles if more than one comes up. This is specially true in memoir, ive found, because people tend to write everything about their lifebecause it all really happened. Author eve tells me her book came in at 95,000 words. Learn the average word counts for various genres of fiction and nonfiction so you can determine the ideal length for your book. Went through querry tracker, found me 5 agents that might be interested in my book, and i sent them my story. Use these numbers as a baseline for your writing goals. The best thing that you can do is look over comparable books and try to judge word count by their size, average words page, and illustration content.
Never pad your manuscript just to meet a word count guideline. For full titles, authors and descriptions of these books, see whats on my travel memoir bookshelf. For average word counts based on genre, see this handy reference. Memoir is the same as a novel and that means youre aiming for 80,00089,999. A nonfiction book is one that tells you facts and information about the world around you. Sharp objects has a word count of 80,565 and my utility calculates it at 80,7. Sep 09, 2019 interview on nonfiction book indexing with virginia c. I have a 100,000 word count manuscript that i have been working on for the past quarter of the year. Im leaving this in the list to show that word count isnt offered for every book. For nonfiction, the people who say a book should be however long it needs to. The best thing that you can do is look over comparable books and try to judge word count by their size, average wordspage, and illustration content. The untold story of the captain of the 1980 gold medalwinning u.
If its about something that really happened or something that really exists, it is nonfiction. But, most nonfiction publishers want to be sold the concept, and therefore be able to discuss the direction of the project, before you write the book. Count up the total number of words on 10 random full lines from different places and divide by 10 to get the average wordsperline count the number of lines on each page to get the linesperpage check that the book actually starts on page 1 sometimes the stuff before it starts is counted then. How many words should be in an adult nonfiction book. Nov 02, 2017 for writers and readers alike, its sometimes hard to tell the difference between fiction and nonfiction. Sep 06, 2016 some of the other answers are idiosyncratic. On the lists that are actually ranked, the book that is 1st counts a lot more than the book thats 100th. The the fellowship of the ring, the first book of the lord of the rings series, swelled to 177,227 words. As a reader, ive never felt a good book was too long, even more than a thousand pages. As for nonfiction books, the standard bestsellers have word counts similar to adult novels. As a result, a 100k manuscript can size up very differently on a shelf. While the stories of other peoples lives are fascinating, readers dont want to slog through anything that drags on and on. This reduction will be very small, like maybe 12 lines less per page, and 510 pages less for the book.
Elizabeth said, for nonfiction books, it depends on the kind of book. Dec 04, 2014 see how your word count stacks up against these popular best sellers. While average word length is 50,000 to 80,000 words, this genre has so much variety that word count depends on the book and its intended audience. Tolkiens initial novel, the hobbit, contained 95,022 words.
Synonyms for nonfiction include factbased, factual, reference, truelife, realistic, authentic, true, historical, real and biographical. Have you ever considered writing a nonfiction book. I asked agents elizabeth pomada and michael larsen of larsen pomada literary agency to add their thoughts to the subject. At a writers conference i recently attended, publishing veteran jane friedman said 80,000 words is good for most fiction, below 60,000 isnt novel length territory, and above 120,000 is likely too much. Word count for famous novels, in ascending order by number of words. Count up the total number of words on 10 random full lines from different places and divide by 10 to get the average wordsper. On the other end, reference and academic books can have huge word counts. All of these are average book word count ranges and should not be taken as the definitive word count you must reach in your book. For others, making sure that they dont go over the word count can be a chore especially if their editor is strict about not going over that numbe. There are a lot of agents that will reject on atypical word count alone. The most important thing here is to realize that there are always exceptions to these rules. Word count, with a little help from amazon alexis grant.345 1315 317 938 815 615 839 916 1161 894 251 197 387 237 101 765 277 664 218 1426 1154 28 429 761 1096 1033 1342 771 1050 1442 189 919 667 375