How Many Words are in a Novel?

Novels are either works of fiction, nonfiction, mystery or as in depth information about a historic event.When you’re authoring a novel for the first time, you ask yourself so many questions like how should you structure the plot? how you can make characters relatable among others. The number of words in a novel vary depending on the genre or subgenre your novel is categorized.

The number of words in a novel depend on whether the novel is fiction or non fiction. This article will help you know more about the number of words each genre of words should have.

Adult Commercial Fiction

This genre has a recommended word count of 80,000- 90,000 for a single novel. They are among the best selling genres accounting for almost half of the bestsellers. Some of the genres under this category are ;mainstream, horror, romance, thriller, mystery as well as suspense.

Adult Science Fiction

They have a recommended word count of about 100,000-115,000 words per novel buy you have the liberty to ago as high 125,000 words. Some of the Science fiction novels are much longer for example A Song of Ice by Gorge R.R which have a Word count of 1.7 Million words.

Adolescent Fiction

It has the same genres as the adult fiction but is more age appropriate. It has two types;

Middle Grade-this novel are made for readers aged 8-12 years and has no graphic content or sexuality. They have a word count of 20,000-50,000 based on the subject matter. The number could rise to 55,000 words for 12 year olds.
Young Adult-These books are meant for teenagers. They have a word range of 55,000-80,000. A good example of an Adolescent fiction is Harry Porter by J.K Rowling. The total word count in the Harry Porter series are 1,084,174 with each book in the series having a different word count.


There are various genres under nonfiction namely biographies, folklore, journals, creative fictions as well as religious texts.
The can vary in each genre.

Look at how many words the Bible has? The word count will vary depending on the translation and the version of Bible you are using. Ths King James version for instance has 784,137 words will the Good News Bible has over one million words.

Another good example of the nonfiction works is the dictionary. Ever asked yourself how many words are their in a dictionary? Again, the answer to this will depend on the type of dictionary you are looking. The Oxford Dictionary for instance has 173,476 words while the MacMillan dictionary has 165,678 words.

For stand nonfiction novels and books on natural subjects like business, politics, history among others, the recommended word count vary. Rick Benzel, a writer at the website Publish to Get Clients however suggests the word count for this kind of books should be 70,000 words.

Words per Page

So about how many words should be in a single page of a fiction or nonfiction novel? Authors have their unique way of editing the final product to meet the standard requirement. The most recommended word count on single page is 250.

In conclusion, the word count for novels will vary depending on what you are writing about!

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