Is a 200-Page Book Considered a Novel?

A frequently asked question among aspiring writers is, “Is a 200-page book a novel?“. There isn’t a universal answer to this, as various factors, including genre and audience, influence a book’s length. However, this guide explores the general stipulations around defining a novel and helps shed light on page count conventions in the writing industry.

Understanding Word Count vs. Page Count

One common way to estimate the length of a book is by its word count rather than its page count. Different book formats, fonts, and spacing can significantly change a book’s page count, while the word count remains constant. Generally, a standard double-spaced manuscript page in a 12-point font contains about 250 words.

pile of books

Book Classification Based on Word Count

Books are typically grouped into categories based on their word count:

  • Flash Fiction: 300 to 1500 words.
  • Short Story: 1500 to 10,000 words.
  • Novelette: 7,500 to 20,000 words.
  • Novella: 30,000 to 50,000 words.
  • Novel: 50,000 to 110,000 words.

These word counts are general guidelines and might vary depending on specific genres or audience preferences.

Word Count Conventions Based on Genre

Averages word counts for various genres based on Amazon’s top-selling titles are as follows:

  • Romance: 90,000 words or 360 pages.
  • Mystery, Thriller, Suspense: 91,000 words or 364 pages.
  • Action, Adventure: 96,000 words or 384 pages.
  • Science Fiction: 98,000 words or 392 pages.
  • Horror: 102,000 words or 408 pages.
  • Fantasy: 109,000 words or 436 pages.
  • Historical Fiction: 102,000 words or 408 pages.
  • Contemporary Fiction: 96,000 words or 384 pages.

While these are averages, they are not rigid standards. It’s crucial to concentrate on storytelling, pacing, and character development, ensuring the story feels complete without stretching or rushing it to meet word limits.

reading a book

What About a 200-Page Book?

A 200-page book implies approximately 50,000 words when considering the standard of about 250 words per page. This word count falls within the range that is generally considered to be a novel, making a 200-page book typically a short novel. However, the genre must also be considered.

For example, a 200-page book might be adequate for a young adult genre but might feel lacking for genres like fantasy, which generally have higher word counts.


In conclusion, a 200-page book can indeed be a novel depending on its word count, scope of narrative, and genre conventions. However, it’s important to note that the quality and completeness of the story matter more than strict page counts. As a writer, it’s crucial to prioritize storytelling and character development, ensuring your book feels complete and fulfilling to your readers.

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