So you’d like to be as popular as F. Scott Fitzgerald, or Danielle Steele?

Don’t write above school grade 8 or 9 reading level!

By Ron Pavellas

See here, by
Shane Snow: "This reading-level analysis will change the way you write."

The ‘Grade Level’ is determined by the “Flesch–Kincaid readability” screen:

I used this site to analyze a piece of my writing and received this information:

Reading Ease: A higher score indicates easier readability; scores usually range between 0 and 100. My score: 76

Grade Level: A score of around 10-12 is roughly the reading level on completion of high school. Text to be read by the general public should aim for a grade level of around 8. My score: 6.3

Additional information presented: character, syllable, and word Count; plus, characters and syllables per Word, and Words per Sentence.

Another site for text analysis: Online text analysis tool, where I find this for my text: Lexical Density : 27.0696.

“Lexical density… measures the ratio of content words to grammatical words. 
If you have a high number of content words, you’ve probably written a specialized academic text. If you have a low number of content words, you have a simple, easy-to-understand piece. Lexical density also considers the number of unique words. If you’ve re-used words, you’ve reduced your lexical density (this is why I get a higher score, it seems)." (Source)

Results of a Lexical Density Screen on three popular fictional works:

Pride and Prejudice             5.3758        
Huckleberry Finn                5.9580        
The Picture of Dorian Gray      8.6999
Mine                           27.0696           

Likewise, the readability screen:

Pride and Prejudice             68.0            
Huckleberry Finn                87.5  
The Picture of Dorian Gray      81.6
Mine                            76.0

So, who is your intended audience, and what grade level and lexical density do you think they will resonate with?