I realize that you shouldn’t worry about length when it comes to writing, but I have always wondered how long the average novel length was – in word count. The reason I am so curious is that, I just want to know if I am filling my story with enough background, characters develop, plot development, what have you, and a word count I suspect is good yard stick by which to measure. Here is a Q&A I found asking this very question from sffworld.com:

As many words as it takes.

I don’t think there is an honest average you can shoot for. Just write until the story is done. To give you an idea, here’s two books I recently read

Another Fine Myth – Robert Asprin 60,000 words
To Green Angel Tower – Tad Williams 520,000 words

As you can see, this is a drastic difference.

To give you a real answer, most publishers — for first time authors — want 80,000 – 120,000. Anything under 80,000 will get lumped into Juvenille Fantasy (unless it’s damn good) and anything over will very likely get rejected outright.

Myself, I’ve written three books in a series so far. Each is between 65,000 – 70,000 words. Each is 15-17 chapters and Prologue and an Epilogue. If I get my way, each book will also contain a short story roughly 15,000 words in length.