Book and Chapter Word Counts

776 wc

Originally posted on my writing blog which was active from 2010 to 2018.

Since I’m an aspiring writer, I am intensely curious about some of the “inside baseball” facts of the books I read. A took a random selection of Kindle books (the ones that just happened to be on my hard drive at the time) and figured out the approximate word count for each book when converted to plain text.** In the table below, the number of pages is as shown by Amazon.

<td valign="top" width="211">
  <strong>Book</strong>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="81">
  <p align="right">
    <strong>Words</strong>
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="73">
  <p align="right">
    <strong>Pages</strong>
  </p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="210">
  <em>The Shadow Rising</em>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="82">
  <p align="right">
    396k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="74">
  <p align="right">
    1051
  </p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="209">
  <em>Stone of Tears</em>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="82">
  <p align="right">
    393k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="74">
  <p align="right">
    996
  </p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="209">
  <em>The Way of Kings</em>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="82">
  <p align="right">
    383k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="74">
  <p align="right">
    1009
  </p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="209">
  <em>The Fires of Heaven</em>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="82">
  <p align="right">
    356k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="74">
  <p align="right">
    926
  </p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="209">
  <em>A Clash of Kings</em>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="82">
  <p align="right">
    334k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="74">
  <p align="right">
    1040
  </p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="209">
  <em>Wizard's First Rule</em>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="82">
  <p align="right">
    305k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="74">
  <p align="right">
    *580
  </p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="209">
  <em>Kushiel's Dart</em>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="82">
  <p align="right">
    278k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="74">
  <p align="right">
    934
  </p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="209">
  <em>The Dragon Reborn</em>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="82">
  <p align="right">
    253k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="74">
  <p align="right">
    632
  </p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="209">
  <em>Servant of a Dark God</em>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="82">
  <p align="right">
    179k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="74">
  <p align="right">
    624
  </p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="210">
  <em>The First Book of Swords</em>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="82">
  <p align="right">
    85k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="74">
  <p align="right">
    219
  </p>
</td>
Author
Robert Jordan
Terry Goodkind
Brandon Sanderson
Robert Jordan
George R.R. Martin
Terry Goodkind
Jacqueline Carey
Robert Jordan
John Brown
Fred Saberhagen
  • I am not sure what is up with Terry Goodkind’s Kindle books, but they seem very screwed up. I’m pretty sure that book had more than 580 pages.

Another question that comes up among writers a lot is: How long should my chapters be? Obviously there’s no right answer, but here is how long the first three chapters (not counting prologues) are in the above books:

<td valign="top" width="87">
  <p align="right">
    <strong>Ch. 1</strong>
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="76">
  <p align="right">
    <strong>Ch. 2</strong>
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="61">
  <p align="right">
    <strong>Ch. 3</strong>
  </p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="87">
  <p align="right">
    15.8k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="76">
  <p align="right">
    15.1k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="61">
  <p align="right">
    7.3k
  </p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="87">
  <p align="right">
    2.8k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="76">
  <p align="right">
    3.9k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="61">
  <p align="right">
    6.3k
  </p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="87">
  <p align="right">
    4.5k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="76">
  <p align="right">
    5.0k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="61">
  <p align="right">
    5.2k
  </p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="87">
  <p align="right">
    13.9k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="76">
  <p align="right">
    9.1k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="61">
  <p align="right">
    7.1k
  </p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="87">
  <p align="right">
    2.5k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="76">
  <p align="right">
    4.8k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="61">
  <p align="right">
    5.6k
  </p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="87">
  <p align="right">
    2.5k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="76">
  <p align="right">
    5.2k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="61">
  <p align="right">
    6.7k
  </p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="87">
  <p align="right">
    2.7k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="76">
  <p align="right">
    2.7k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="61">
  <p align="right">
    3.3k
  </p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="87">
  <p align="right">
    4.1k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="76">
  <p align="right">
    4.8k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="61">
  <p align="right">
    3.5k
  </p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="87">
  <p align="right">
    2.4k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="76">
  <p align="right">
    2.2k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="61">
  <p align="right">
    1.5k
  </p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="97">
  <p align="right">
    5.3k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="85">
  <p align="right">
    8.0k
  </p>
</td>

<td valign="top" width="76">
  <p align="right">
    5.5k
  </p>
</td>
Book
The Shadow Rising
Stone of Tears
The Way of Kings
The Fires of Heaven
A Clash of Kings
Wizard's First Rule
Kushiel's Dart
The Dragon Reborn
Servant of a Dark God
The First Book of Swords

I don’t know about anyone else, but at least now I know why it took so frickin’ long to read The Shadow Rising.

** Don’t ask how I did it.

P.S. For comparison, the longest novel I have written is 138k words, and my chapters tend to be between 2k and 4k words. I suck. :)

This page is a static archival copy of what was originally a WordPress post. It was converted from HTML to Markdown format before being built by Hugo. There may be formatting problems that I haven't addressed yet. There may be problems with missing or mangled images that I haven't fixed yet. There may have been comments on the original post, which I have archived, but I haven't quite worked out how to show them on the new site.

Note: Comments are disabled on older posts.