1. CaptainBooBoo
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    CaptainBooBoo Member

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    Microsoft Word Document pages vs. real book pages

    Discussion in 'Software' started by CaptainBooBoo, Sep 17, 2014.

    Hi! I wondering how many Microsoft Word Document pages I will have to write before my book is the length of an average book, say, 150-250 pages. I don't want to write to much or to little, so that's why I'm wondering. Thanks for the help!
     
  2. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    No expert here, but the length of your story is not really a good objective for writing it. Wouldn't the font size affect the word count considerably on each page? Paragraph spacing would have a big impact if you use a lot of short dialogue banter. I think if you do a little reading on this forum you will see the general guide for a novel is based on word count, I don't remember what that is off hand, but it is not an aspect you really need to factor in when writing IMO. Write your story, however long it is, be concise and edit as needed.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Don't concern yourself with page counts. Publishers measure manuscripts by word counts. A first novel should be (generally speaking) between 80,000 and 100,000 words, 120,000 words tops, to be considered for publication. If you succeed in publishing a novel or two, those lumits are relaxed somewhat, but your chances of even getting your manuscript even looked at fall off dramatically if you stray outside the publishers' submission guidelines.
     
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  4. CaptainBooBoo
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    CaptainBooBoo Member

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    @tonguetied Yes, you're right. Thank you!

    @Cogito Awesome! Thank you very much. I'll aim for those numbers!
     
  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    To echo what Cogito said, I would aim for 80-100k. The maximum of 120k words is usually reserved for certain genres (like fantasy). Of course, there are always exceptions to these guidelines. However, in this case, be the rule, not the exception.
     
  6. CaptainBooBoo
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    CaptainBooBoo Member

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    Okay. Thanks a lot for the help!
     
  7. Michaelson345
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    Michaelson345 Member

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    Yes, for publishing your novel you must have to exceed at least 100k or 120 k so that the publisher allow you to publish your novel.
     
  8. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    The median word count for a novel book is about 65,000 words. Always use word count instead of page count.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2014
  9. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why do you say that?
     
  10. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    That seemed low, so I googled - sounds like that's the median for a BOOK, not a novel, based on Amazon books. (http://blogs.publishersweekly.com/blogs/PWxyz/2012/03/06/the-average-book-has-64500-words/) Considering that some of those books will be novellas or even short stories, this is a low number for novels.

    It does depend a bit on the genre/category (MG, YA, NA, and some romances are generally shorter, fantasy generally longer), but 80K is a good ballpark for most adult fiction.
     
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  11. Vandor76
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    Vandor76 Contributing Member

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    I agree with the others : publishers use word count, not page count -> you need to write something abound 100K words (Microsoft Word can count the words for you).

    However, if friends or relatives ask you about your progress with a novel they can't interpret word count so a page count needs to be calculated. This is hard because the number of words fit on a page is greatly affected by different page sizes, font sizes, spacing and writing styles (using a lots of dialogue will increase page count).
    As an average you can calculate with 2-4 pages / 1000 words so a 100K word novel is around 300 pages. You can take a book you have, choose an average page and count the words on it. With that number and your novel's current word count you can calculate how many "pages" you have written and even show them by opening the book at the given page number.
     
  12. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    65K is on the low side, unless you're talking YA.
     
  13. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am bothered by the concept that word count is such an important factor in writing a story. I can see the value in it for classifying the story as a book, novel, etc. but it seems so secondary in importance to telling the story itself. I still think you write the story in the best format you can and let the word count fall where it may. But I do bow to the experts here on this forum and will live with it (word count matters).
     
  14. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Word count matters if you're submitting to a publisher/agent. It's rare for a publisher to take a chance on a very long (or short) novel. That's why you should aim for the recommended word count.
     
  15. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, if all you want to do is WRITE a story, make it as many words as you want. But if you want to PUBLISH the story? The word count becomes important.
     
  16. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    I agree with the comments of everyone above that word count is important to look at, especially with publishing. and would like to add that it is also rare for trilogies/series to be published if the author is relatively new too. likewise to the above, there are exceptions (The Inheritance Cycle/Harry Potter come to mind here) but they arent the rule...
     
  17. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think the 'publishing series is rare' rule may vary genre to genre. My agent is currently wrapping up two deals for me, one contemporary romance and one YA with strong romantic elements, and in both cases the publishers suggested the books be the first book in a series and turned the contracts into multi-book deals. And I'm changing genres and working under a new pen name, so as far as the publishers knew I was a new author.

    Romance series sell well, so publishers like them. If they like your writing enough to buy one book, they may like it well enough to want more than one.

    That said, I wouldn't write the 2nd book before getting a publisher for the 1st. Who knows what will or won't sell, and it'd be a pain to not be able to sell two books instead of just one.
     
  18. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    yeah, it does, i mean, to be honest, i cant really say too much for romance (well being a Fantasy/Horror writer, i kinda dont really have reason to be there unless i write a romance novel) and as i did say, there are exceptions, and it could be that romance as a genre is an exception, it being more popular for series to be successful...
     
  19. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, you are absolutely correct. You should write the story as you think it should be written, and however long it turns out is what it should be -- whether that makes it a short story, novella, or novel. That said, it is helpful to know generally how long these various categories are, particularly if you want to be traditionally published. Many first time novelists end up writing something way too long -- so if your story ends up being 350,000 words, you've got a bit of a problem. It is very likely that a lot should be edited out. There may be too much going on or there may be repetitive parts, or too much that doesn't drive the plot or develop characters. So, especially when you're editing down a first draft, it's good to have a sense of how long the story 'should' be.

    On the other end, it's usually not a good idea to just add words to make a short story longer. If it naturally needs to be longer, because you've got a plot hole, or need to provide some information for the motivation and development of the characters, then that's different.
     
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