Word Count for Genres

Definition: is the number of words in a document or passage of text.

How to check what your word count is in a word document:

OPEN your Microsoft Word document/file

On the top, click on REVIEW tab

If you highlight the paragraphs or sentences, you will see only the specific word count for that which is highlighted. If you do not highlight any area, you will see the entire document’s word count.

On a Mac, click on the Launchpad icon in your dock (the gray rocket ship). Type ‘Word’ in the search bar at the top of the screen.


Picture Books 0 to 1000 words (600 is average)

Chapter Books 5,000 to 15,000 words (10,000 is average)

Short Story 1000 to 7,500 words

Novelette 7,500 to 17,500

Novella 20,000 to 40,000 

Middle Grade 35,000 to 65,000

Romance Novels 70,000 to 90,000 

Paranormal 75,000 to 95,000

Young Adult 50,000 to 80,000

Mystery 75,000 to 90,000

Horror and Thriller 80,000 to 100,000

General Fiction 75,000 to 100,000

Historical 100,000 to 120,000

Fantasy and Sci-Fi 180,000 to 200,000

Literary Novels 50,000 to 120,000, but can be up to 200,000


Biographies and Memoirs 70,000 to 100,000 words

Popular Nonfiction 70,000 to 120,000

Niche Nonfiction – the sky is the limit

*As an interesting side note, ‘Amazon’s Text Stats’ show that the average length of all books on Amazon is about 64,000 words.