Updated on May 14, 2024

In 2024, different authors write at different lengths, depending on their target audience and the genre. Even so, relational guidelines can be bestowed on authors to consider a larger range of options.

Novels meant for adults should be between 70,000 and 100,000 words long. This narrows the book to a size that allows the author to include vivid characters, events, and settings, and interactions that do not deviate the narrative’s course. Nonetheless, epic fantasy and science fiction novels may exceed 100,000 words due to the length world-building takes.

In contrast, young adult novels tend to be slightly shorter, ranging from 50,000 to 80,000 words. This reflects the preferences of younger readers and the pacing commonly found in YA fiction.

Non-fiction books have a much wider range of word count variance, depending on the topic and target audience. A self-help book or a business book might have estimates from 40,000 up to 60,000 words. Such a range allows developing the topic but does not make it tedious. A scientific book or a research piece may expect more words, typically something around 60,000 up to 100,000, allowing the author to put in all the citations and the research details, something more won’t be appealing.

In particular, a children’s book may have its own word count range, depending on its reading level and the format. Picture books for small children examples may contain less than 1,000 words. Books for early readers may have 1,000 to 3,000 words. A middle-grade novel examples designed for readers aged 8 to 12 may contain 20,000 to 50,000 words. Such ranges make it possible to create a plot and develop characters that will interest a child of a certain age category.

However, in 2024, the optimal number of words for a good book may vary, based on the genre, target audience, and the depth of the material necessary to convey the thoughts of the author or the content of the story.

What is the ideal word count per page for a book?

There are several factors that lead to the wide difference in the number of words that are considered appropriate for a book. These factors include the type or genre of the book, the font size and line spacing of the text, the margin in each page, and the type of readers that the book targets. Therefore, the acceptable number of words per page in each genre due to the target readership is as summarized below:

Adult Novels: The suggested number of words per page for an adult novel in a paperback or hardcover form is between 250 and 350. The reason behind this standard is that it leads to a well-spaced book that cannot strain the readers’ eyes as the number of characters are well and appropriately distributed along the pages, making the reader comfortable always.

Young Adult Novels: Young adult novels usually have 200 to 300 words per page, slightly fewer words than adult novels. This allows the story to develop quickly on the one hand. On the other, it coincides with the tastes of young readers looking for stories, not articles.

Non-fiction Books: There are different word counts in non-fiction books, depending on how sophisticated the material is: If the book is about self-help or business, there may be 200 to 300 words on a page. They give the author the opportunity to explain their ideas and give a reader useful recommendation; and. If the book is scientific or research-based, you can expect to see at least 300-400 words on a page of text. This is because such a content requires extensive analysis and the use of various sources for citing.

Overall, the suitable word count per page in a book is determined by factors such as the book's genre, target audience, and the balance between readability and content depth.

Why Word Count Matters: The Top 3 Reasons for Writing a Book in 2024

Have you ever thought about how the length of a book can really make a difference? Well, in 2024, it's more crucial than ever. Here's why word count matters so much:

Keeping You Hooked: Think about when you pick up a book. You want it to fit into your busy day, right? The right word count means you get just enough to stay engaged without feeling like it's dragging on or leaving you hanging.

Getting Noticed: Did you know that publishers have specific rules about how long a book should be? Following these rules can mean the difference between your book getting picked up or being left on the shelf. It's like speaking the industry's language and making sure your story gets heard.

Bringing Your Story to Life: Imagine trying to tell a detailed story in just a few pages—it's tough! Having the right word count lets you dive deep into characters, themes, and all those juicy plot twists. It's like giving your readers a full-color experience instead of a black-and-white sketch.

So, when you think about word count, it's not just about numbers. It's about making sure your readers stay hooked, getting noticed in a crowded market, and telling your story in all its glory. That's what counts in writing for 2024 and beyond.

Whether your book is currently too lengthy or too brief, it's acceptable.

That's how revising works! Some writers, like me, just love to get the story out fast, even if it means going back later to add more details. Others (lucky ducks!) write super long stories that just need some trimming. It's totally normal! Hardly anyone nails it perfectly on the first try. But hey, guess what? You finished a draft! That's amazing, no matter how many words it is. Time to celebrate – you've got something awesome to work with!

Think about J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" with its sprawling 257,045 words. It's a journey into a magical world that readers willingly get lost in. On the flip side, Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea" at just around 26,000 words is a masterclass in concise storytelling, yet it leaves a profound impact.

Long books are like immersive journeys, diving deep into characters, weaving complex plots, and painting vivid worlds. They let authors unfold their ideas fully, leaving a lasting impact. Yet, crafting such a book needs pacing finesse to keep readers hooked all the way.

On the other hand, short books like "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald (around 47,000 words) pack a punch. They get to the heart of the matter, perfect for busy readers or those craving a swift adventure. Every word counts, delivering a potent message without extra fluff. This style clicks with readers who love a swift, focused narrative.

The right length hinges on factors like genre and who you're writing for. Epics and historical tales thrive in length, like "War and Peace" by Leo Tolstoy (around 587,000 words), while thrillers excel in brevity, such as Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None" (around 55,000 words).

But beyond length, it's the story's power that matters most. A well-told tale, long or short, stirs emotions and stays with readers. So, choose the length that suits your story best. Remember, both types of books win hearts and find their place on bookshelves, showing the diversity and beauty of storytelling.

When is it important to pay attention to word count?

Don't worry about being perfect while you write! Just focus on getting your story down on paper. Like I said before, most first drafts are either too long or too short (and maybe a little rough around the edges – boring, confusing, predictable, with plot holes and one-dimensional characters). That's totally okay, because they're just drafts! We fix them up later when we revise.

Word count becomes important when you're ready to share your work with agents, publishers, or even self-publish. The reason I bring it up now is because some publishers have preferences for length. Knowing this can help you get your foot in the door, especially since there are a lot of other writers out there too. It's all about giving yourself the best chance to succeed!

In the world of publishing, different genres have their own word count norms. Mysteries, for example, usually run between 70,000 to 90,000 words, while fantasy novels can go well over 100,000 words. Following these guidelines can boost your chances of getting noticed by agents and publishers.

Think about who you're writing for. Different readers have different expectations. Young adult books, for instance, are often shorter than adult fiction. Matching your word count to what your audience enjoys can really grab their attention.

If you're aiming to publish in magazines or newspapers, where space is limited, word count is crucial. Keeping within their limits ensures your piece fits their style and remains easy to read.

Lastly, the length of your writing impacts how deeply you can explore your ideas. Longer pieces dive into details, while shorter ones pack a punch with concise storytelling.

By keeping an eye on word count, you not only meet industry standards but also connect better with your readers. It's all about crafting content that fits your goals and resonates with your audience.

Is word count significant in self-publishing?

Absolutely, the number of words in your book matters when you're self-publishing. Here's why:

Think about what readers expect. Different types of books have different lengths. For example, a short novella is much shorter than a big fantasy novel. Matching your book's length to what readers expect in its genre can make a big difference in how they feel about your story.

Then there's the cost side of things. Printing and shipping books cost money, and longer books usually cost more. Knowing how many words you're working with helps you figure out how much it will cost to get your book out there.

And let's not forget about keeping readers interested. Some people love getting lost in a long, detailed story, while others prefer something quick and to the point. Making sure your word count fits what your readers like can make them happier and more likely to recommend your book.

In the end, word count is a big deal in self-publishing. It affects what readers expect, how much it costs to make your book, and how much people enjoy reading it. So, it's worth thinking about when you're getting your book ready to share with the world.

Addressing a book that is overly lengthy

Ever wonder if you should split your super long book into smaller chunks? It's not just about chopping it up or making a short story longer!

For novels or true stories (memoirs), each part should be like a mini-adventure. It needs a clear beginning, middle, and end, with problems to solve, changes happening, and a satisfying wrap-up.

Think of a series like your favorite TV show. Each episode should be fun to watch on its own, but also move the bigger story forward. Readers expect a complete journey in every book, fiction or non-fiction. Just stopping in the middle without a proper ending can leave them feeling frustrated. Each book should have its own special idea or way of telling the story, even if it connects to what came before.

The bottom line? If you've got a long book, careful planning and a strong story are key to keeping readers hooked and wanting more!

Frequently Asked Questions

The word count of a 100-page book can vary widely depending on factors like font size, spacing, and content density. On average, it could range from around 20,000 to 40,000 words.

The word count of a 200-page book can vary significantly depending on formatting and content. On average, it could range from approximately 40,000 to 80,000 words.

The word count of a 300-page book can vary based on factors like font size and content density. Typically, it ranges from around 60,000 to 120,000 words.

The word count of a 400-page book can vary widely, influenced by factors such as font size, spacing, and content density. Generally, it ranges from approximately 80,000 to 160,000 words.

The word count of a 500-page book can vary significantly, depending on formatting and content. On average, it could range from approximately 100,000 to 200,000 words.


There are definitely reasons why published books tend to be a certain length, but don't get hung up hitting that exact number! The more important thing is to figure out why your book might be too long or too short, and then fix it up in editing. Spend your energy making your story the best it can be, instead of stressing about book word count.

This article is here to help you understand what typical book word counts are like, so you can focus on writing a book that readers will love. If you ever need some extra help with your writing, there are professional book writing services out there that can assist you. But for now, let's concentrate on crafting a fantastic story!

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