Demystifying Novel Lengths: Understanding Novel Lengths Through Audiobooks
In the digital age, the traditional metrics for measuring the length of a book, such as page counts, have become less reliable. With the advent of e-books and varying print sizes, the number of pages can differ significantly from one edition to another. Moreover, judging a book by its number of chapters is equally misleading, as a chapter can be as short as a single page or as long as several dozen pages.
There’s one metric that remains consistent across formats: word count. And for those who enjoy audiobooks, there’s a handy way to estimate the word count of a novel based on its finished audio hours.
The Audiobook Metric
On average, every 9,150 words translates to 1 finished hour of an audiobook. ACX (the self-publishing audiobook book arm of Amazon) lists the length as 9,300 pfh, while Findaway Voices (another popular audiobook option for audio creation) lists it as 9,000 per finished audio hour. I split the difference and went with 9,150, which should give you a good estimate of the word length of a novel.
That would mean that an audiobook that runs for 11 hours is approximately 100,650 words long. This metric offers a consistent and reliable method to estimate a book’s length, irrespective of its format.
Here is a quick and handy chart to help you out.
The Audiobook to Word Count Chart
|Audio Hours||Estimated Word Count|
Why This Matters
By using the audio length and average words per hour, you can get an accurate idea of how long the novel is in words. So, next time you’re considering a new book, take a look at the audiobook runtime to figure out if it’s the right length for your reading needs.
While page numbers and chapter counts can be misleading, word count remains a reliable measure of a book’s length. For audiobook lovers, the finished audio hours offer a handy way to estimate this. So, the next time you’re considering an audiobook, ebook, or print book, you’ll have a clearer idea of the commitment ahead!