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Do Word Counts Count 2016 edition

It’s that time of year again! Time for my annual Word Counts post where we take a look at YA word counts for traditionally published and indie authors.

So let’s get right down to the nitty gritty. First, we take a look at the traditional-pubbed market. For this, I’m going to pull the bestsellers in the category of YA from Barnes and Noble.

Barnes & Noble Teen Bestsellers for the week beginning June 28, 2016

 Title  Word Count*
 Miss Peregine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs 96,250
 The Last Star by Rick Yancey 88,000
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard 104,000
The Cellar by Natasha Preston 92,000
 The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton 56,000
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak  144,000
 The Novice by Taran Matharu 96,000
The Maze Runner by James Dashner 100,000
 United as One by Pittacus Lore 120,000
 Kian and JC: Don’t Try This at Home! by Kian Lawley 56,000

*Estimated based on 250 words per page

Compared to last year’s list of B&N teen bestsellers, word counts are up 13%. I think it is important to note that some of the larger word counts in the list came from books that are the last in their series. Many readers already know to expect the last book to be a bit thicker as the author packs in everything needed to wrap up all the loose ends.

Word counts also increased among indie others when compared to previous years.

Smashwords Bestsellers Young Adult/Teen Category 7/2/16

 Title  Word Count
The Raven King by Nora Sakavic 105,410
 The Wild Beasts of Anthony Mannis by Matthew Young 78,020
In a House Made of Bones and Teeth by Alyxandra Harvey 16,170
Memories of Ash by Intisar Khanani 122,640
Valley of the Shadow by Christina Ochs 176,720
The Posterchildren: Origins by Kitty Burroughs  133,870
 Masters of Time by Sarah Woodbury 83,340
Between Heaven and Earth by TJ Rudolph 73,480
 The Dark Wife by SE Diemer 62,180
The Alcantaran Key by Terry Compton 142,850

The average word count for these ten is a whopping 99,468, the highest average for Smashwords bestsellers since I started the Word Count annual posts in 2013. This number also breaks trend by surpassing the B&N bestsellers word count average. Check out the dramatic incline over 2015’s average word count of 68,315 in the comparison chart below.

16wordcount

Those are the stats. Looks like word counts are growing and readers are buying, but let’s not forget the increasing popularity of novellas and Kindle singles. There is one novella-sized novel in the Smashwords bestsellers (there usually is at least one). Amazon’s Kindle Single bestseller lineup is starting to tout big names such as James Patterson, Diana Gabaldon, Lee Child, and Gillian Flynn with page counts ranging from 40 to 86 pages and price points at $1.99 and $2.99 making their work more affordable for the everyday reader and more competitive against indie authors who traditional charge these prices for full novels.

So take these stats with a grain of salt because as we all know…
Length is seldom a measure of a good story.

Past Word Counts Posts
>Do Word Counts Count 2015
>Do Word Counts Count? 2014 update
>Do word counts count? 2013

 

 

2 Responses to Do Word Counts Count 2016 edition

  1. How do i get my book to become a best seller?

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