To convert the running time of an audiobook into the print version word count, follow the steps below.
- Go to Amazon.com
- Search for your book and add "Audiobook" to the end. Such as "Gone Girl Audiobook"
- Scroll down to Product Details and copy the Listening Length value ("19 hours and 11 minutes" as an example)
- Paste that value into the field above and click Convert.
I use the running time of the audiobook to come up with the word count total. How accurate are the calculations? Let's take a look at a few examples. The actual word count for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is 78,792 and my utility calculates 78,186. The Hunger Games has a word count of 99,750 and my utility calculates it at 99,060. Pretty impressive! Are they all that accurate? Many, yes, but there are exceptions due to the speed at which the narrator talks. For example, Defending Jacob has a word count of 122,475 and my utility comes up with 115,320. So it'll be off on occasion, but it still works well for the average book. Still, if you have any feedback I'd love to hear it. You can reach me through my Contact page.
And if you're only looking for a few examples from a particular genre, the word counts for other books listed on this site have also been verified. Word Count Ranges by Genre is a good place to start.
I was previously using Amazon's API (interface to get data programmatically) to retrieve the number of minutes for the associated audiobook as the basis for the calculation (they don't offer word count). Unfortunately, they removed running time (number of minutes) from their data library, so I'm no longer able to use their API.
However, Google offers an API too. Now, they don't offer word count or running time for books, but they do have a search API. So, my program tells Google to search Amazon and pull back the running time for the book. This is a lot harder because it's not a specific field I'm receiving back -- I have to scrape the results and do some crazy parsing of the data. But it looks like it works. However, Google only allows me to make a certain number of data calls each day, which is why I created a separate utility to calculate word count if you're willing to grab that value from Amazon.
Once upon a time Amazon offered "text stats" for a majority of their books, which included word count. Although Amazon stopped offering this for new books several years ago, the feature still remained for older books. Unfortunately, Amazon recently removed that feature as well. I suppose it just wasn't as important as Alexa.
AR Book Finder is a great resource for writers, despite the fact that we're not actually the target audience. If you've never visited the site, you'll be asked if you're a Student, Parent, Teacher or Librarian when first arriving. I consider myself a student of life, so I selected student and continued on. I suspect you're a student of life too, so perhaps you should choose the same. From this point, search for your book, click on the title within the list of results, and on the following page you'll find the book's word count. Unfortunately they don't have all books, but they do have the most popular ones. So we got that going for us; which is nice.