How long should me book be?


Word count for novels and books is something you don’t think about too often until you travel to a writers’ conference, and then someone asks a simple, innocent question: “How long should a book be?”


ADULT NOVELS – COMMERCIAL & LITERARY: Between 80,000 and 89,999 words is a good range you should be aiming for. This is a 100% safe range for literary, mainstream, women’s, romance, mystery, suspense, thriller and horror.


SCI-FI AND FANTASY: Science fiction and fantasy are the big exceptions because these categories tend to run long. It has to do with all the descriptions and world-building in the writing. With these genres, 100,000 – 115,000 is an excellent range.


YOUNG ADULT: Perhaps more than any other, Young Adult is the one category where word count is very flexible. For starters, 55,000 – 79,999 is a great range.


PICTURE BOOKS: The standard is text for 32 pages. That might mean one line per page, or more. 500-600 words is a good number to aim for.

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