Word Counts 101: Links and Resources

By Cecilia Lewis

Previously, I’ve written about average word counts for each genre and how to know if your novel is in the right range. But those averages are based only on my own experiences, and they can vary in different genres and areas of the industry. So, in order to provide a more complete picture of what word count ranges are acceptable, for this month’s Links and Resources post I’ve compiled a list of other great word count resources so we can take a broader look at industry standards. Here are several estimates that I’ve found to be fairly accurate:

1. Wordcount Dracula by agent Jennifer Laughran is one of the best posts that I’ve seen for word counts of children’s books. She breaks it down by age range and genre and offers multiple examples.

2. Average Novel Word Count from The Writer’s Workshop is a good general guide that includes literary fiction, genre fiction, and nonfiction.

3. On Word Counts and Novel Length by former agent Colleen Lindsay is an incredibly thorough post covering multiple subgenres.

4. Word Count by agent Jessica Faust at BookEnds Literary Agency is another great breakdown of basic genres.

5. The AR BookFinder is a great resource if you write children’s fiction. Searching for any title will provide you with information on the book, including its word count, so that you can compare the length of published titles.

6. Word Count for Novels and Children’s Books: The Definitive Post at Writer’s Digest is also a thorough breakdown that includes multiple genres.

And finally, just for fun, this infographic is a creative look at the word counts of famous works of literature. (But keep in mind that modern standards for word counts are quite different, so this shouldn’t be seen as a guide.)

Know any resources that should be on the list? Have any questions about word count? Let me know in the comments!

This post is part of my Links and Resources series. You can find previous posts in the series here, and follow the blog for all my new content about self-publishing, writing craft, and more. 

Looking for professional editorial services for your manuscript, cover copy, or submission materials? Check out my Services page for more info about what I offer.

Related Links:

-Manuscript Formatting 101: Links and Resources

-All About Word Count

-Self-Publishing Ebooks 101: Links and Resources

-Literary Agents 101: Links and Resources


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