Word count for eBooks: A white paper


If you ever wondered about the ‘rule of thumb’ as it pertains to the typical word count for a digitally formatted fictional novel, read on. I’m very intrigued by this subject, as a writer, and intrepid reader.

 Many readers expect today’s typical novel has a word count of plus/minus 80K. And still others believe that a book’s word count depends on the story genre.

 I decided to dig for some serious gold; I wanted to know what the current best and top sellers have for word count.

An example:  Amazon uses a page count standard with regard to eBooks, and I must use one of my books to show how this works; Fiammetta’s Triumph has a word count of 50,381, and a printed page count of 164. That breaks down to about 307 words per page. And if a book has about 260 pages, chances are its word count hovers around 80K.

So, how do my book stats look compared to the big sellers?

  • James Patterson; Chase; ebook $3.99; 144 pages
  • R. Ward; The Angel’s Share; ebook $14.99; 426 pages
  • Daniel Silva; The Black Widow; ebook $14.99; 517 pages
  • Clive Cussler; The Emperor’s Revenge; ebook $14.99; 458 pages
  • Bob Mayer; Independence Day; ebook $4.99; 230 pages
  • Jana DeLeon; Rumble on the Bayou; ebook $4.99; 340 pages
  • Janet Evanovich; Manhunt; ebook $6.99; 256 pages
  • Paula Hawkins; The Girl on the Train; ebook $11.99; 326 pages

Research complete, the facts are in, and my non-scientific research indicates that on average, the word count for top selling novel length ebooks is around 80K, give or take a word or two. 

Caveat: Please try to not read too much into the above, it’s simply a question about average word count for top selling ebooks on today’s market. No more, no less. 

I must get back to my writing now, I’m a few thousand short of a typical word count.



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