Two Ways to Estimate Your Word Count

Today, we want to talk briefly about the importance of an accurate word count for your ACX productions. Having an accurate word count can help ensure that both the rights holder and the producer know what to expect when it comes to the amount of work involved, and the amount of time needed to produce an audiobook.

How do I get an accurate word count?

This part’s pretty easy, and at most involves a little math. If you have an electronic version of your book, most word processing programs provide a word count for you. Microsoft Word, for example, displays this info in the bottom left hand corner of the document


If you aren’t able to get the word count electronically, you can still do it the old-fashioned way. Here’s how:

  1. Pick a typical, full-text page of your book at random.
  2. Count the number of words in the top line of text, and then count the number of lines on the page.
  3. Multiply those two numbers. Then, multiply that number by the total number of pages in the book. Remember, if you’re not having your producer record certain parts of the text, such as the introduction, the “About the Author,” or any other front or back matter, make sure to account for that when multiplying.
  4. Choose a different page in your book, repeat steps 1-3, and note the number. Repeat this process one last time with a third page and note that number.
  5. Find the average of those three numbers.
  6. The result will be the approximate number of total words in your book.

Where do I put this information on ACX?

After claiming your title on ACX and creating your title profile, step two of the title posting process asks you to choose payment and distribution terms, as well as enter the word count.

(Click on the image below to expand)


ACX automatically calculates the estimated running time based on the number of words you’ve entered (how nice of us!). This is just an estimate, of course, and the finished recording time may vary depending on the type of book and the style of the narrator.

Along those lines, we advise ACX producers to double check the word count at the outset of the production to ensure both parties are have the same expectation of the length of the title and the production time required.

Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more helpful audiobook production tips, and tell us what parts of the audiobook production process you’d like to learn more about in the comments!

5 responses to “Two Ways to Estimate Your Word Count

  1. Pingback: Money Talks – Paying, and Getting Paid, For Your Audiobook. | Audiobook Creation Exchange Blog (ACX)

  2. Pingback: Reading speed test - how fast can you go? - Reading, Wide and Well

  3. What is the formula for estimating time based on word count? Seems silly to have to set up an account and submit a book to get such basic info.

  4. Pingback: Karen Commins’s Audiobook Resources For Authors -

  5. Pingback: Karen Commins’s Audiobook Resources For Authors - Karen Commins

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