This is the second post I wrote on word count. Since I write mostly picture books, I know what my target word count is each time I write – less than 600, but 500 is ideal. But as I glue the scenes of different projects I am writing, I always want to make sure that the word count has not changed since my last research. And if I find something different, I will copy it and put it on the blog so I can refer to it as needed. This is like my personal research notebook.
I went to literary Rambles, to the word count of children’s literature. It sent me over to Kidlit. This is the information I gathered about word count for children’s literature. I think I read somewhere that these numbers have changed since the popularity of Harry Potter.
- Board Book — 50 words max
- Early Picture book — 300 words max
- Picture book — 700 words max (Seriously. Max.)
- Nonfiction Picture book — 2,000 words max
- Early Reader — I’d say 1,500 words is the max.
- Chapter book — This varies widely, depending on grade and reader level. 15,000 words max.
- Middle Grade — 35,000 words max for contemporary, mystery, humor, 45,000 max for fantasy/sci-fi, adventure and historical
- YA — 70,000 words max for contemporary, humor, mystery, historical, romance, etc. 90,000 words max for fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal, etc.
You may check the archive for earlier post about word count. Below, there are tools online you may use to check your word count. Microsoft Word have a built-in word count tool. But if you are like me, and sometimes do not write directly into Microsoft Word, then use one of the tools below. Happy Writing!