Word Count Guide

When I started writing (in a notepad with a leaky biro) I was pretty obsessed with word counts.

How long should my book be?
What's the typical length of a book?
Is this right for my genre?

(Unfortunately, back in the day of the notepad and pen, three hard-hand-written-pages usually accounted to one typed page. I know, extreme bummer.)

So, after scouring the Internet (what else is a hulking monster like me supposed to do while they're holed up in India?), I've compiled a list of the word counts of common books! It might give you a useful guide.

YA Fantasy

Twilight: 118,000 words
Breaking Dawn: 153,000 words
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: 198,000 words
Eragon: 157,000 words
Inkheart: 146,000 words
The Golden Compass: 112,000 words
City of Bones: 130,000 words
Shiver: 94,000 words
A Great and Terrible Beauty: 95,000 words
Tithe: 66,000 words
Wicked Lovely: 73,000 words
The Siege of Macindaw: 79,000 words
Clockwork Prince: 139,000 words
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: 84,000 words

MG Fantasy

Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone: 77,000 words
Gregor the Overlander:  55,000 words
Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief: 87,000 words
Artemis Fowl: 56,000 words
Book of Three: 46,000
Midnight for Charlie Bone: 65,000
The False Prince: 76,000 words

YA Sci-Fi
Matched: 89,000 words
A Wrinkle in Time:  49,000 words
The Selection80,000 words
Cinder87,000 words
Divergent105,000 words
The Giver: 43,000 words
Across the Universe98,000 words
City of Ember: 59,000 words
Delirium: 114,000 words
I Am Number Four: 100,000
The Hunger Games: 99,000
Mockingjay: 100,000 words

YA Contemporary

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants: 60,000
Looking For Alaska64,000 words
The Key to the Golden Firebird70,000 words
Sloppy Firsts76,000 words
Anna and the French Kiss81,000 words
The Perks of Being a Wallflower: 62,000 words

MG Contemporary
Bridge to Terabithia: 32,000 words
Ruby Holler: 44,000
Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z: 48,000
Charlotte's Web: 53,000 words

Note: I've sourced these from all over the internet. They may not be exact.
Sourced from: Authorial Intent, Hardcovers and Heroines, Super Opinion8ted, Jennifer Represents, Good Books for Kids, and Melody Valadez.


  1. You astonish me with Tithe as only 66k, but I suppose it isn't all that fat. Still, I would have thought it was longer. My novels tend to average out between 90k and 110k, which looks like a fairly good quantity for YA.

    1. A lot of these surprised me too, actually! I didn't think Looking for Alaska was that small!

    2. John Green's first draft of Looking for Alaska was somewhere around between 25K-35K words, I believe.

  2. I'm sensing a pattern here... I guess that YA contemporary tends to have less words? And that YA fantasy averages to 100k words? Sounds like so many words! Haha. I couldn't imagine myself producing that many, but who knows! With my reviews I could probably reach 500, lol.

    1. Up to 200k in some cases (but then, no one should try to average Harry Potter, whether you're a fan or not.) I'd probably be in the 200k camp myself, since I tend to run long and complex when it comes to plots (a bit like Tolkien...) How long is the Hobbit, again? NOT THE MOVIE. The book.

  3. This is so helpful! I would never have guessed that ALL the YA fantasies were so many words - Harry Potter, sure, but wouldn't have thought Inkheart was that much. Almost double my YA contemp MS's, which I suppose is the trend.

    Great post :)

  4. I think I just felt unknown stress fall from my shoulders. Brilliant list.

  5. I think it also partially is determined by what you're trying to do with the book, and where you want to go, not to mention your writing style. :-)