The Average Length Of A Book: By Age, Range, And Genre (2023)

Before writing and publishing a book, make sure you know the average length of a book in your chosen genre.

When a reader picks up a book, they expect the approximate length of that book.Word countsimpact a book’s target audience, which publishers show interest in it, and how much you can charge for it.

So what is theaverage lengthof a book? This is a wide range, but the average novel aimed at adult readers is around 90,000 words, with a range between 80,000 and 110,000. For non-fiction works, the average is slightly less at between 50,000 and 80,000 words. That said, some indie authors publish shorter, more specific non-fiction books around 30,000 words.

Truthfully, though, the answer depends on the genre of the book you’re writing or reading. You can countbook-lengthbased on eitheraverageword countor an averagenumber of pages, and this guide will help you determine what length is appropriate for a book you’re writing.


  • Average Lengthof a Book Depends on Genre
  • Average LengthforAdult FictionBooks
  • Average Lengthfor Children’s Fiction Books
  • Average LengthforNon-Fiction Books
  • DoesWordCountMatter?
  • A Final Word onThe Average Length Of A Book
  • FAQs About The Average Length Of A Book
  • Author

Average Lengthof a Book Depends on Genre

The Average Length Of A Book: By Age, Range, And Genre (1)

If you are considering writing a book orshort story, you need to know theaverageword countbefore you start. This knowledge helps guide your story arc, ensuring you get the beginning, middle, and end in the right places.

To determine theformattingand length of a book, you must look at the genre first.Children’s bookshave much different lengths thannovellasand full-length novels.

To keep things consistent, this guide will coveraverageword countrather thanpage count. Many factors affect thenumber of pagesin the book, especially itsformattingand the presence of illustrations, soword countis a better metric. Also, you can count words as you compose your document, and thenumber of pagesof the finished work may change based on the publisher’sformatting.

Learn more about the types of genres for books.

Average LengthforAdult FictionBooks

If you are writing fiction, here is theaverage lengthto expect based on the type of fiction book you write.

(Video) do NOT age-shame Erica #StrangerThings #Netflix

1. Adult Novels

Novel lengthstypically fall between 50,000 and 110,000 words. The industry supports longer works, especially from established and trusted authors, but this is a good average range. Keep in mind that even among novels, genre impacts length.

2.Flash FictionStories

Flash fictionworks areshort storiesthat convey universal truths or emotions. Theaverage lengthfor these works is between 300 and 1500 words.

3.Short Story

A great short storyis slightly longer than aflash fictionpiece. Aim for between 1,500 and 30,000 words for a story or book to fall in this genre.


Novellasare shorter books often published as sequels or prequels for popular books. They often give the backstory of a character in the main story arc. Theaverage lengthis between 30,000 and 50,000 words.

5. Romance Novels

The Average Length Of A Book: By Age, Range, And Genre (3)

Romance novels include both mainstream romance andsub-genreromance. These are between 40,000 and 100,000 words on average, with thesub-genrenovels being slightly shorter.

6.Science FictionandFantasy Novels

The fantasy andsciencefictionnovelniche tends to be a bit longer than other types of novels, so the author can create the fantasy orsci-fiworld. Aim for 90,000 to 120,000 words for this genre.

7.Historical Fiction

If you are writinghistorical fiction, you’ll find the average range falls within theaverageword countfor novels. The best historical fiction books fall between80,000 and100,000 words.

8. Horror, Mystery, Crime and Thriller Novels

Though there are exceptions, the horror and mystery genres tend to be shorter adult fiction books. Traditional publishing aims for 70,000 to 90,000 words for this genre. Because they move quickly and include a lot of action, these do not have as long a word count. The best crime thriller authors adopt a similar approach.

9.Young AdultBooks

YA novelwriters often target adult readers. Thesweet spotfor theword lengthfor these books is 50,000 to 80,000 words. Interestingly, many YA authors end up with a largernumber of wordsin their sequels after they gain a bit of a following among their target readers.

(Video) 5 Book recommendations - All from different genres

Average Lengthfor Children’s Fiction Books

Children have limited vocabularies and can’t read as long of books as their adult counterparts. Here are somepublishing industrystandards for children’s fiction works, based on age level.

10.Picture Books

Even though they often get read aloud,picture bookshave an industry-standard length. They tend to be between 300 and 800 words, with plenty of illustrations to help tell the story.

11. Early Reader Books

Early or easy reader books are for young, new readers. They feature minimal vocabulary that is in line with reading level, and they vary from 200 words to 3,500 words, increasing inword countas the reading level increases.

12. EarlyChapter Books

After easy readers, most children move tochapter books. These still have limited vocabulary to line up with their reading levels. Theaverage length, again depending on reading level, is between 4,000 to 10,000 words.

13.Middle-GradeFiction Books

Themiddle grades, grades six through eight, needlonger booksbut a limited vocabulary. The bestword countfor thisage groupis between 25,000 and 40,000 words.

Average LengthforNon-Fiction Books

Non-fiction bookscan follow similar guidelines asage-groupspecific books. However, for books reaching adults, there are specificword countsthat thepublishing industryconsiders standard. Thekind of bookaffects theword countin non-fiction as well.

14. Standard Non-Fiction Work

If a non-fiction work is not a self-help or a biography or memoir, it has a pretty narrow range of between 70,000 and 80,000 words. This type of book includes political works, business books, science books, and similar non-fiction topics.

15. Memoir Books

Amemoiris someone’s autobiographical account of something that happened in their own life. It may not be an entire biographical account, but it does cover something the writer experienced. Theaverage lengthfor this type of fiction is 80,000 to 200,000 words.

16. Biographies

A biography is a book with a long potential range depending on the details in the subject’s life. The average range for this is 80,000 to 200,000 words.

17. Self-Help Books

A self-help book gives guidance on how to do something. It may be personal growth or physical action, like how to do a craft. Theaverage lengthfor this is 40,000 to 50,000 words.


Word countsfor books is a fluid thing, but it does matter. Readers expect how long a book will be, and most publishers are looking for books they publish to hit thesweet spotfor their readers.

(Video) Genre vs. Category

That said, exceptions exist. For example, thefirst bookin theHarry Potterseries was perfect foryoung adultreaders at76,944 words. As the series progresses, the books get increasingly longer, and book five,Harry Potterand the Order of the Phoenix topped the list at 257,045 words.

Since the series was aNew YorkTimesBestseller, theword countdidn’t matter. The books flew off the shelf. However, most writers need to stick withinword countrecommendations, especially when seeking to publish a book for thefirst time.

A Final Word onThe Average Length Of A Book

Theaverage lengthof a book depends on the subject, age-range, and type of book you choose.Literary fictionis usually longer than non-fiction, but even in those general terms, word counts vary.

Wordcountmattersin the publication world because publishers need to publish books that appeal to their target audiences. Thus, they look for books that hit a certain range based on the genre.

If you are hoping to become a published author, sticking toword countranges will help.

Want more? Check out our guide how to write a book.

FAQs About The Average Length Of A Book

How long should anonfiction bookbe?

A classic non-fiction bookis usually between 70,000 and 80,000 words. Other types of non-fiction, like biographies, can be even longer, with upper limits of around 200,000 words.

How long should a fiction book be?

Theaverage lengthof a fiction book depends on the age of its audience and the type of book.Picture books, for instance, can be as short as 300 words, whereas a sciencefictionnovelcan have upper limits of around 120,000 words.

(Video) Understanding Age Categories and Genres (Cadets #2)

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  • The Average Length Of A Book: By Age, Range, And Genre (4)

    Nicole H.

    Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006. She specializes in education content and real estate writing but enjoys a wide gamut of topics. Her goal is to connect with the reader in an engaging, but informative way. Her work has been featured on USA Today, and she ghostwrites for many high-profile companies. As a former teacher, she is passionate about both research and grammar, giving her clients the quality they demand in today's online marketing world.

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What is the average length of a book? ›

A typical novel is about 80,000 words long – but may be anywhere between 60,000 to 100,000 words. Anything under 50,000 words is generally considered a novella.

What is the average word length of a book? ›

Average Word Count For A Novel

The average word count for adult fiction is between 70,000 to 120,000 words. For children's fiction, the general rule is the younger the audience the shorter the book, and for YA novels the average is 50,000-70,000 words.

How long is a novel by genre? ›

Genre fiction: 99,000 words on average (range 6,000-221,000) Literary fiction: 98,000 words on average (range 58,000-163,000) Science fiction: 98,000 words on average (range 11,000-377,000) Action/adventure: 96,000 words on average (range 16,000-299,000)

What is the ideal length of a book? ›

Finding the 'sweet spot'

Ask Google 'how long should a book be' and the most popular search results nearly all say there's a maximum of 100,000 words, with minimums varying from 60,000 to 90,000. Those figures (dependent on font and font size of course) give us that oft-cited length of 300 to 350 pages.

How many pages is the average length of a book? ›

When wondering how many pages a book should be, it is notable that the average book length is between 200-400 pages. With this in mind, what considerations should be taken when deciding how long a book should be? Check comparable titles. Go to a bookstore and find your book's genre.

What is the average length of a book in inches? ›

Here are the standard book sizes for the major book genres: Fiction: 4.25” x 6.87” (pocket book), 5” x 8”, 5.25” x 8,” 5.5” x 8.5,” 6” x 9”. The 5.5” x 8.5” digest format is the smallest of the “trade” sizes in the United States. The more common 6” x 9” is the “U.S. Trade” size mentioned earlier.

How many pages is a 300 word book? ›

Answer: 300 words is ⅔ page single spaced or 1⅓ pages double spaced.

How many words is a good book length? ›

How Long Should a Novel Be? If you're writing your first novel, the general rule of thumb for novel writing is a word count in the 80,000 to 100,000 range. While anything over 40,000 words can fall into the novel category, 50,000 is considered the minimum novel length.

How long is a 300 page book in words? ›

A 300-page book word count average is about 90,000 words. However, the word count per page can widely change, depending on the format, amount of dialogue, and even font size.

How long are different types of books? ›

Here are some of the standard ranges:
  • Adult Fiction. Literary and Commercial Fiction: 80,000-110,000 words. Romance: 80,000-100,000 words. ...
  • Nonfiction. Standard Nonfiction: 50,000-80,000 words. Self-help/How-to: 40,000-50,000 words. ...
  • Children's Books. Young Adult: 45,000-80,000 words. Middle Grade: 20,000-50,000 words.

How long is a full length novel? ›

For most publishers, a book is “novel-length” when it's between 50,000 and 110,000 words. At a writers conference I recently attended, publishing veteran Jane Friedman said 80,000 words is good for most fiction, below 60,000 isn't novel length territory, and above 120,000 is likely too much.

Is an 80 page book a novel? ›

The general consensus, however, is that a novel should be at least 50,000 words long, is approximately 200 pages.

Whats a good length for a first book? ›

As with general fiction, for a debut it's best to err on the side of caution and stick to 100,000 words where possible. For literary fiction, it can go the other way; anything from 55,000 to 100,000 words is acceptable.

Can a book be 15 pages? ›

That is the hallmark of excellent writing — a book that is impossible to put down. Fifteen pages are the Goldilocks choice for storytelling. Not too short, not too long, but just the right amount of time for us to become engaged in your story.

How is book length measured? ›

The size of a book is generally measured by the height against the width of a leaf, or sometimes the height and width of its cover. A series of terms is commonly used by libraries and publishers for the general sizes of modern books, ranging from folio (the largest), to quarto (smaller) and octavo (still smaller).

Is 120 pages a short book? ›

Most of our childhood favorites can be considered short novels or novellas, so no wonder it's comforting to have a handful of thinner books on our TBR pile. As a loose guide, short novels are 200 pages or fewer, novellas are 60 to 120 pages, and short stories average 4,000 words.

Is 200 pages enough for a book? ›

The general consensus, however, is that a novel should be at least 50,000 words long, is approximately 200 pages. This means that 200 pages is a sufficient length for a novel.

How many pages is a 30 minute book? ›

How many pages can you read in 30 minutes? The short answer is 20 pages with an average reading of 300 words per minute.

Is 300 pages a long book? ›

300 pages is a lot, and sometimes, even if you're interested in the book, you can start to slow down after a while. My suggestion would be to read 50–150 pages of one book and then read 50–150 pages of another book in one day, and then the day after do it all over again.

What is the length of a short book? ›

Word Counts For Short Stories, Novellas And Novelettes

Short story: over 1,000 words, usually less than 10,000. Novelette: 7,500 to 19,000 words. Novella: 10,000 to 40,000 words.

What is the size of a book always? ›

Trade paperbacks: Most fiction and general nonfiction books range from 5 x 8” to 6 x 9”. Shorter works, like novellas, are nearly always 5 x 8”. Hardbacks are most often 6 x 9”. 4.

How many pages should your first book be? ›

For a first release, 200 pages are enough. One can also look at authors like Chetan Bhagat, who continue to release books well below the 300-page mark even today. This is because readers across different cities and professional backgrounds prefer quick reads that fit into their hectic schedule.

How many pages is a chapter? ›

The industry average for a book's chapter length is about 8–10 pages. Because font sizes may vary, a more logical method is to aim for an average word count. Although this differs depending on the genre you are writing in, the average range is between 1,500–5,000 words per chapter.

How many chapters in a book? ›

Most novels have between 10 to 12 chapters, but that's not set in stone.

How many chapters should a good book have? ›

However, there is no exact minimum or standard for how many chapters a novel should have. Because chapters are just places where the author decides to break up the flow of their story, you could go a more traditional route and end up with 12-28 chapters or choose to be more experimental and have as many as 200.

How many pages is 500 words? ›

A 500-word essay is generally around 1-3 pages in length, depending on font size and spacing.

Is 30 000 words enough for a fiction book? ›

30,000 words are enough for a novella but would be considered too short for most fiction novels or a nonfiction book. As you can see, having the right number of words per page is important to its success.

How long should it take to write a 200 page book? ›

How long does it take to write a 200 page book? The average person can expect to spend 3 -7 months writing a 200 page book if they focus on writing more than 1500 words per week. Now, this would equate to roughly 50,000 words.

How long is a 500 page book? ›

Reading Time by Number of Pages
Number of pages🐢 Slow (150 wpm)🐰 Fast (450 wpm)
250 pages13.9 hours4.6 hours
500 pages1.2 days9.3 hours
750 pages1.7 days13.9 hours
1000 pages2.3 days18.5 hours
9 more rows

Can I self publish a book? ›

There are a number of self-publishing companies that allow users to create physical copies of their books and sell them via major retailers. Most have a print-on-demand option for selling on Amazon, but this might not be available for selling in-store.

What is a 4 book called? ›

A tetralogy (from Greek τετρα- tetra-, "four" and -λογία -logia, "discourse") is a compound work that is made up of four distinct works.

How many genres of books are there? ›

How many book genres are there? Though we're only covering 35 of the most popular in this post, there are around 50 genres in total — the exact number depends on who you ask. If you take subgenres into account, over on Reedsy Discovery we have 107 different categories, while Amazon has over 16,000!

What is a 100 page book called? ›

Definition of a novella

The novella typically runs about a hundred pages, though it can run a bit longer.

Is 100 pages too short for a book? ›

A 100-page book is too short to be considered a novel, regardless of the genre. Here's why: stories are classified according to their word counts. We'll dive deeper into that a little later, but for now, remember that if it's 100 pages long, or fewer than around 40,000 words, it's not a novel.

What is the minimum amount of pages for a novel? ›

Books are usually categorised as novels or other formats based on the number of words that they have, rather than the number of pages. A book is usually considered to be a novel if it is 40,000 or more words long. 40,000 words is approximately 150 pages with typical formatting.

Is a 100 page book short? ›

A 100-page book is too short to be considered a novel, regardless of the genre. Here's why: stories are classified according to their word counts. We'll dive deeper into that a little later, but for now, remember that if it's 100 pages long, or fewer than around 40,000 words, it's not a novel.

Is a 300 page book long? ›

300 pages is a lot, and sometimes, even if you're interested in the book, you can start to slow down after a while. My suggestion would be to read 50–150 pages of one book and then read 50–150 pages of another book in one day, and then the day after do it all over again.

Can a book be 32 pages? ›

Picture books are typically 32 pages because books are produced in page-count multiples of eight. However, you will also see some with page counts of 24, 40, or 48 pages. Nonfiction picture books and books for writers with a demonstrated audience tend to run longer.

Can you write a book in a week? ›

It is entirely possible to write a book in one week. I know, because I've done it. But the bottom line is, you can't achieve such a feat around normal life. You have to schedule a complete week off from work, family, social commitments, the gym – basically, you need to escape your life for 7 full days.

How many pages must a book have to be published? ›

For a first release, 200 pages are enough. One can also look at authors like Chetan Bhagat, who even today continue to release books well below the 300-page mark.

How long can I finish a 200 page book? ›

That's about 4.5 hours to read a 200-page book (55,000 words). By increasing your reading speed to 600 words/ minute, you could read a 200-page book in 90 minutes. The best speed readers can reach 1000 words per minute which equates to approximately 55 minutes to read a 200-page book.

How long should a 100 page book take? ›

Answer: the average reader takes about 2.8 hours to read 100 pages. You might take more or less time than 2.8 hours to read 100 pages, depending on your reading speed and the difficulty of your text. The average person's reading speed is around 300 words per minute (WPM).

How long is a 70 page book? ›

Answer: the average reader takes about 1.9 hours to read 70 pages.

How long does it take to finish a book with 250 pages? ›

Answer: the average reader takes about 6.9 hours to read 250 pages.

How long can you finish a 400 page book? ›

Answer: the average reader takes about 11.1 hours to read 400 pages. You might take more or less time than 11.1 hours to read 400 pages, depending on your reading speed and the difficulty of your text.

What is the most common book page size? ›

The standard book size is six inches wide and nine inches tall (6"x 9"). Your book will probably be cheapest to print, easiest to read, and easiest to sell (e.g., it'll fit on bookstore shelves) in this size.

Do children's authors make money? ›

Absolutely! Multitudes of authors make money from children's books. Like I said, you can make a living off writing in any genre if you play your cards right.

Can a children's book be 40 pages? ›

Almost all picture books put out by children's book publishers are 32 pages, but there are exceptions. Picture books also come at 24 pages, 40 pages, and 48 pages.


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