A question many authors have is how many words are on the average page when it comes to books and ebooks on Amazon.
This information helps you calculate how long your novel or nonfiction work has to be to hit a certain page count on Amazon, which is important if you're applying for promotions that require you to be above a certain number of pages to qualify.
The info also helps you figure out how many total words you need to write to create a book that meets reader expectations in your genre. Since you can view the Amazon page counts of the books that are currently ranking well, you simply multiply by the average number of words per page, and presto.
So, what’s the right answer? What is the average number of words per page on Amazon?
I'll tell you upfront, this question is more complicated than it sounds. In the past, I’ve seen numbers ranging from 200 words per page to even 500 words per page — pretty much all over the place. And being kind of a nerd (proud of that, by the way), I wanted to find a more reliable answer.
So I sent out a call to authors on the Kindlepreneur email list (thank you guys, I really appreciate you), created a survey, and got 900+ responses — all with the single goal of figuring out the average number of words per page… according to Amazon. From that, I’ve been able to create a good rule of thumb for this. And I also discovered why there can be so much variation from one book to another.
In this article, you will learn:
- How many words per page are in a book on Amazon
- What affects Amazon’s calculations
- How you can actually change this number
- And more…
If you’d like to jump straight to the answer of how many pages are in a book on Amazon, click here.Want to know how Amazon calculates the number of pages in your book? This article by Kindlepreneur gives you the answer. Click To Tweet
How Amazon Calculates the Number of Pages in a Book
Before we jump into the results of the experiment and what it means for authors, we should first try to understand why the number of pages in a book varies so much.
Let’s start by learning how Amazon calculates the number of pages it reports for a book.
If you have a physical book uploaded:
According to Amazon, if you have a physical book uploaded, they will go with the number of pages in the largest section of the physical book.
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. And 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–this is under ‘Product Details' if you scroll down on your book's sales page.
If you only have an eBook uploaded:
If, however, you don’t have a physical book for Amazon to look at, they will calculate the assumed pages (which, by the way, is ALWAYS WAY LOWER than it should be). According to Amazon on older versions of their sales page, this is done as follows:
“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 basically means that Amazon has a set font, font size, and line spacing they use when calculating the number of pages they'll report.
But all of this begs a question… if Amazon is using settings that closely represent a physical book, why isn’t the ‘words per page' count a set number? Why was there so much variation in the replies we received from the survey sent to Kindlepreneur authors?
What Affects 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. So, why is that?
There are a few factors that cause this type of variation:
- Number of characters on a page: Some words have more letters than others and some writing uses more spaces in a sentence.
- Pictures, tables & graphs: Some books have more pictures in them, and, although these do not add to the number of words in a book, pictures do take up more pages.
- Dialogue: Some fiction has a lot of dialogue. This creates more paragraphs, and more page space is taken up without adding more words.
- Content density per paragraph: Legal books, and pieces similar to them, tend to have larger paragraphs than contemporary pieces, for instance. This increases the density of the content 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 in them and use more images and spacing.
That tells us there are logical reasons why the converted words per page can be a bit all over the place.
So, what’s a good rule of thumb for authors to use when trying to figure out how many pages their written text will be converted into?
The above graphs were created from the analysis of the responses of 900+ authors, who were asked how many words they had in their book, whether they were fiction or nonfiction books, and 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. This way, authors will have an idea of how many pages their book will be displayed as by Amazon on their book's sales page.
Want to Dive a Bit Deeper?
Check out this video I made to further explain the average number of words per page on Amazon.
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.
But here’s the important part: The number of pages listed on your Amazon sales page is vastly different than 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 your book is listed as.
So, what is a good rule of thumb for KENPC? Well, 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. But not to worry. In the future, I’ll generate that, get the data for KENPC specifically, and update this section to reflect that.