The Ideal Word Count

All the news this morning is the sale of Garth Risk Hallberg’s debut novel, City On Fire, for close to two million dollars. Every headline makes a point of pointing out that the novel is 900 pages. What’s that about? We seem to like everything else big… houses, cars, sandwiches, but when it comes to books, we get skittish.

The Novel: Does Size Matter? from Publisher’s Weekly

What about picturebooks for older readers? Is there an ideal page count? An ideal number of words averaged on each page?

Picture book texts must be presented on no more than two A4 sheets. If a picture book is any longer than this, it is not a picture book.

Omnibus Books Australia, an imprint of Scholastic

The new digital era may welcome variations in time, but for now the ‘correct’ word count is 400 and the ‘correct’ number of pages is 32.

The ‘correct’ target age-range for a picture book is under three, three to six, or six to nine.

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