Novels and Word Counts

I’ve been receiving messages asking about word counts for novels in various genres.

Here’s an excellent post, The Swivet [Colleen Lindsay]: All new & revised: On word counts and novel length:

“–> hard sf = 90k to 110k
—> space opera = 90k to 120k
—> epic/high/traditional/historical fantasy = 90k to 120k
—> contemporary fantasy = 90k to 100k
—> romantic SF = 85k to 100k
—> urban fantasy = 90k to 100k
—> new weird = 85k to 110k
—> slipstream = 80k to 100k
—> comic fantasy = 80k to 100k
—> everything else = 90k to 100k”

Tip: if you’re writing for digital publication, word counts and page numbers don’t really matter… BUT — reader expectations do.

Readers expect ebooks in a genre to be a certain length. They’re trained to expect commercial fiction in many genres to be anything from 70,000 to 100,000 words. Deliver much less, and they’ll be annoyed. Deliver more, and they’ll never finish your book if you’re not Stephen King.

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Angela Booth is a top copywriter, multi-published author, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills on her websites. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her business books have been widely published.