1. A.M.P.
    Offline

    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,032
    Likes Received:
    1,131
    Location:
    A Place with no History

    Word Count

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by A.M.P., Apr 10, 2015.

    So, I know the basic rule is generally 250 x page count to get your average word count for the piece.
    I learned that it gives publishers a good idea of the space required for a publication.

    However,
    My current work is about 16,500 words but with that math I'm at 19,500...
    That's quite a huge leap.

    My question:
    Would it be better for me to state the actual number of words or use the formula when submitting?
    I'm at the odd part where the length would either be too long or too short to be accepted in certain places and I wonder whether I'd be rejected if I used to "wrong" word count.
     
  2. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,605
    Likes Received:
    5,879
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Give the word count, not the page count. It's the language writers and publishers speak.
     
    AASmith likes this.
  3. A.M.P.
    Offline

    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,032
    Likes Received:
    1,131
    Location:
    A Place with no History
    Yeah?
    I keep finding articles and blogs that tell me the correct way is 250xPageCount
    But I often find that it's nowhere near the actual word count in longer pieces.
    My last few submissions I used the actual word count (rounded to the nearest 100th)
     
  4. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    Use the word count given by MS Word (or whatever program you use), and round to the nearest hundred when including the word count in your manuscript. That's the standard industry practice.
     
  5. Lance Schukies
    Offline

    Lance Schukies Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2015
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    39
    if your using a word processor then look for the word count feature. I actually hand wrote my novel and stopped at 230 pages thinking I was just over half way, once it was typed up I had found I had 130,000 words,
     
  6. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,724
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    Why not use the real word count? I mean, the one your software (Word?) reports to you. It'll be a lot more accurate than the estimate.
     
  7. Lance Schukies
    Offline

    Lance Schukies Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2015
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    39
    btw 16,000 is not a novel or book http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Word_count

    Novel over 40,000 words
    Novella 17,500 to 40,000 words
    Novelette 7,500 to 17,500 words
    Short story under 7,500 words
     
  8. A.M.P.
    Offline

    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,032
    Likes Received:
    1,131
    Location:
    A Place with no History
    @Lance Schukies
    Why bring that up?

    And also, those are general numbers.
    I've seen publishers with vastly different word requirements for novels and the like.
    Always read the submission guidelines :3
     
  9. Lance Schukies
    Offline

    Lance Schukies Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2015
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    39
    ok
     
  10. Commandante Lemming
    Offline

    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    1,000
    250 X page count is I think roughly what you get out of standard manuscript format but it's not what you're going to get out of MS Word or any other format. I export my stuff from Scrivener in multiple formats depending on who I'm sending it to, and the page count is drastically different depending on format (especially if I use standard manuscript format, which runs WAY longer than a standard Word Doc in Times New Roman). Just use the raw word count - page counts are subjective to the document format, word count is constant.
     
    GingerCoffee likes this.
  11. AASmith
    Offline

    AASmith Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2015
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    119
    I would think to use the word count. The page number on your manuscript vs. the page number your book ends up being will be different im sure. and 250 per page is an estimate. I find that i have more than 250 per page when I write using Georgia 11 pt font double spaced (yes I know i will have to change it for submitting but font is important to me when im writing). Knowing the word count is more accurate i think.
     
  12. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,218
    Likes Received:
    4,226
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    That's the guideline I'm using along with what my MS Word word count reports to me.
     
  13. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,658
    Likes Received:
    5,142
    Well, 16K words isn't a novel, but it could certainly be a book.
     
  14. Void
    Offline

    Void Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2014
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    229
    I honestly don't understand the problem. 250 x page count is an inaccurate heuristic used to derive the word count when more accurate information is unavailable, so I don't see any reason to favour it above the actual value other than to skew the numbers in your favour. In that case, the question becomes should I lie about the word count to potentially aid in the selection process?

    After all, page count is an utterly meaningless value that can vary wildly depending the format (250 words per page is from the Shunn format I believe). I could probably stretch this post to 1,000 pages if I wanted, but it still doesn't mean I've written a 250,000 word novel just now.
     
    Lemon flavoured likes this.
  15. Lemon flavoured
    Offline

    Lemon flavoured Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2014
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Newark, Nottinghamshire
    I've not actually formatted anything as a manuscript, but in my default writing style and font (12pt Trebuchet MS, because I like how it looks), bits of the fantasy story I'm writing amount to somewhere over 500 per page (as high as over 700 for some pages) in OpenOffice. Obviously any page count based on 250/page would be vastly wrong for that. As it happens it's currently ~17800 words in 33 pages. It's probably 15-20% complete.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
  16. Cappy and Pegody
    Offline

    Cappy and Pegody Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2015
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    27
    We are about two thirds done with our rewrite and at 180K so no worries there. Our novel is sci fi and all the rewards and such in the genre seem to agree with the 40K requirement for a novel. It's easy to write long stories in the sci fi/fantasy genre. Since the reader is not familiar with the environment some descriptive is necessary and good filler. Once we got the tale started it was quickly apparent that it would be no problem writing enough words. Now we are beginning to wonder if we have too much and will have to take another hard look when we format.
     
  17. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,658
    Likes Received:
    5,142
    It's not so much a question of awards as a question of finding a publisher. If you're self-pubbing you don't have to worry about it as much (except to realize that if you make print versions of your long books they're probably going to be prohibitively expensive, and if you charge full-price for a 40K word 'novel' readers may feel ripped off). But if you're planning to seek a publisher, you should probably be aware of what they're looking for. And most publishers I'm aware of would consider 40K too short to be a viable novel, and would probably think 180K is too long, especially for a new author.
     
    Cappy and Pegody likes this.
  18. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    No one in the publishing industry uses the number of pages as an indication of length because factors like font size and formatting affect the number of words per page. I think another member already mentioned this. Always go by the word count given by the software you're using. You'll save yourself a lot of trouble during the submission process.

    Also, always follow the publisher's guidelines regarding word count, font size, and formatting the manuscript.
     

Share This Page