Many digitally published authors wonder:
How many words should be on a page in a book on Amazon? According to a survey of over 900 authors, there is an average of 233 words per page in a book on Amazon for nonfiction or 280 for fiction novels. Font size and other factors impact this number.
The standard book page for books published by traditional publishing companies ranges from 250-300 words.
In the past, I’ve seen numbers ranging from 200 words per page to even 500 words per page — authors can be all over the place when writing novels. Being kind of a nerd (and proud of it, by the way), I wanted to find a more reliable answer.
So I sent out a survey to authors on the Kindlepreneur email list and got 900+ responses, all with the single goal of figuring out the average number of words per page according to Amazon. (I really appreciate you guys)!
That’s where I got my words per page numbers of 233 for nonfiction and 280 for fiction from – real-life authors like you.
I’ve created a good rule of thumb for determining how many words should be on each page of your book, the best ways to format, and how self-published books can get there.
- The reasons for the drastic variation in words per page on Amazon
- What affects Amazon’s calculations of the words per page in your book
- My best tips for formatting your book
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Table of contents
The Importance of Words Per Page
Why do you need to know how many words per page are in a book? The number of words per page in a book on Amazon can help you win with both promotions and readers. Here’s how:
- For promotions. The number of words on each page can help you calculate how long your novel or nonfiction work has to be to hit a certain page count on Amazon. Book length is crucial if you're applying for promotions that require you to be above a certain number of pages.
- For readers. The number of words per page in a book also helps you figure out how many total words you need to write to create work that meets reader expectations in your genre. Different genres have different average word counts. If your book is too short or too long for its category, readers may pass it over.
Are 30,000 words enough for a book? 30,000 words are enough for a novella but would be considered too short for most fiction novels or a nonfiction book.
As you can see, having the right number of words per page is important to its success. Let’s get counting!
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How Amazon Calculates the Number of Pages in a Book
Let’s start by learning how Amazon calculates the number of pages it reports for a book.
According to Amazon, if you upload a physical book, the number of pages in the physical book’s largest section goes towards the total page count.
Publishing houses have a standard for how they print books. Most traditional publishers print 250-300 words on a paper page, similar to the numbers we’re working with for Amazon publishing.
That means if you have multiple paginations of, say, i-xii, 1-348, and then i-xx, Amazon will list your book as 348 pages. For efficiency’s sake, they will use this number for both your physical book and your eBook.
This nuance is important to understand, especially if you have multiple books in a box set.
Below is an example of where you can find your page count under ‘Product Details' if you scroll down on your book's sales page.
For eBooks, it’s a different story. If you don’t have a physical book for Amazon to review, they will calculate the assumed pages, which can vary from your manuscript pages.
This number is always much lower than it should be. According to Amazon, on older versions of their sales page, this is their reasoning:
“The estimated length is calculated using the number of page turns on a Kindle, using settings to closely represent a physical book.”
This last part means that Amazon has a set font, font size, and line spacing they use when calculating the number of pages they'll report.
When you upload a print book, check the number of pages listed. If Amazon doesn’t automatically update your Kindle pages to reflect your print book's page count (which sometimes they don’t), contact support and tell them. They’ll correct it immediately.
All of this begs the question: if Amazon uses settings that closely represent a physical book, why isn’t the ‘words per page’ count a set number in each book? There was a considerable degree of variation in the replies we received from the survey sent to Kindlepreneur authors.
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Factors Affecting the Number of Words per Page
As you’re about to see in the survey results below, the number of words per page reported by authors was vastly different — ranging from 100-400 words per page. Why is that?
There are a few factors that cause this type of variation:
- The number of characters on a page. No, not book characters, but individual letters and symbols. Some words have more letters than others, and some writing uses more spaces in a sentence.
- Pictures, tables & graphs. Pictures indeed seem to be worth a thousand words — they take up more pages in a book. If your book uses graphics or illustrations, it will likely be longer.
- Dialogue. Some fiction, like sci-fi or epic fantasy novels, employs a lot of dialogue. This creates more paragraphs, and more page space is taken up without adding more words. These genres also tend to be longer overall than the average book.
- Content density per paragraph. Legal books and similar works tend to have larger paragraphs than contemporary pieces. This increases the density of the content with fewer line breaks and may lead to larger page counts.
- Types of books and their structure. Graphic novels, low-content books (like journals or books with inspirational quotes), and children’s books generally have fewer words and use more images and spacing.
There are just some of the understandable reasons why the number of words per page in a book can vary so drastically.
We can see there is no hard and fast rule on word count per page. In that case, what’s a good guideline for authors to use when trying to figure out how many pages their written text will be converted into?
How many words per page are in a book on Amazon?
The above graphs were created from my survey of over 900 authors. Each author shared:
- How many words they had in their book
- Whether they were fiction or nonfiction books
- How many pages Amazon listed those books as on their site
This is by no means an exact number, but it can serve as a well-tested rule of thumb with sufficient data to support it. Using this information as a guide, you can have an idea of how many pages your book will be displayed as by Amazon.
How many words should be in my book?
If you’re wondering not just about words per page, but about pages per book, we’ve got that data as well.
I am often asked questions like: Are 25,000 words enough for a book? 25,000 words might be enough for shorter books like a novella or short story collection.
If you’re to publish a longer work, a 90,000-word novel is standard in the fiction world, and 50,000 is average for nonfiction.
How many words are in a 200-page book? A 200-page book is about 60,000 words in traditional publishing, assuming you fit 300 words to a page.
However, as you will see below, you can alter the number of words per page through my favorite formatting tips.
We broke down word counts of bestsellers by sub-genre to help you find the best length for your novel. Whether your work is for young adults, middle grade, or inspired by Stephen King, we’ve got you covered.
Before you hit the digital presses, you’ll want to make sure your grammar, punctuation, and style. I recommend ProWritingAid to assist with your editing process, and I even have a discount for you.
Tips for Formatting a Page
By now, you’ve likely realized that the words per page in your book on Microsoft Word or Google Docs aren’t going to directly translate to publishing on Amazon.
What’s the trick, then, for formatting a page? Firstly, it’s usually best to adhere to the classic standards of using 12-point font, Times New Roman, and one-inch margins for the pages of your book.
Here are a few of my other best page formatting tips:
- Align your typeface to the left and let the right side stay ragged, rather than trying to make it even.
- Indent all paragraphs other than the first one in a section or chapter.
- Use one space after a period, not two.
- Unless it is the end of the world, don’t use all caps. Your reader doesn’t want to be yelled at through the page. Use italics for emphasis instead.
How many pages on Microsoft Word is a 300-page book? A 300-page book is about 171 pages on Word. The difference in page lengths is because Word fits more content onto each page, translating to 1.75 published pages for every one page on Microsoft’s word processor.
A Quick Note about the KENPC Words Per Page Count
The Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count, or KENPC, is the number of pages your book is eligible to receive money for if your book is enrolled in the Kindle Unlimited program.
Why it matters: The number of pages listed on your Amazon sales page is vastly different from your KENPC. As a matter of fact, the KENPC is usually much higher than the Amazon listing.
In order to see what your KENPC is, you must go to your KDP dashboard and click “Promote and Advertise” for the specific book. There you can see the number of KENPC pages listed for your book.
How can you estimate your KENPC? I’ll admit, I hadn’t thought of that when I set up the original survey. Through my research and preparations, I realized my mistake. In the future, I’ll generate that, get the data for KENPC specifically, and update this section to reflect that.
I’m looking forward to that data. (Remember how I said I was a nerd?) Stay tuned for KENPC updates.
Until then, keep writing beautifully formatted pages that captivate readers.