1. Corbyn
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    Corbyn Lost in my own head Contributor

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    Word vs Print

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Corbyn, Jun 12, 2011.

    ‎I read on a thread recently that a word document page is about double an actual book page... soo say you have 200 word document pages would mean that your actual book pages would be closer to 400 pages... anyone know if this is accurate? I know a lot of it will depend on formatting and what not...
     
  2. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wouldn't worry about page count, its the word count that matters.
     
  3. Corbyn
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    Corbyn Lost in my own head Contributor

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    Yeah I know, I'm not worried just more curious ..
     
  4. Glimpse
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    Glimpse Member

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    Depends on what size your book is going to be published in. ;)
    But really, I wouldn't worry about it too much.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The page count varies based on so many factors, and it will likely even differ between the paperback, trade paperback, and hardcover editions.

    If you are really curious, look up word counts online for various books in your personal collection. For a few of them, you'll be able to find word counts online to correspond to the page counts in the book in your hand.

    You'd have to be pretty obsessive compulsive to undertake that exercise, but then again, you'd have to be fairly OC to care that much. ;)
     
  6. Corbyn
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    Corbyn Lost in my own head Contributor

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    Yeah well ... curiosity is a strange thing but ... it only goes so far... was mainly asking to compare to what I'd already read... Not so much that I HAVE to know... more like... I wonder how much of what that thread says is close to accurate... so much for asking...
     
  7. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    try estimating how many words/page there are in general in published books ( I used to count a few pages of a couple books to get an idea) it can be somewhere around 280-350, at least the books I checked, but then again it can be a lot more and even less... then you check how many words your story have/ page and you will know... dividing total word count of the document with the average number of words of the books you checked... it is hard to answer your question since it doesn't have a precise answer. You can't say a word page is always 2 printed pages because as you mention it depends on so many things such as font, single or double lining, how much space you leave on both sides of the text etc, even if it's a lot of dialogue or not. best thing is to do some "research" by yourself to see if there is any truth to it IN YOUR CASE, because that is something WE can't tell, since we don't know how your ms is formatted.
     
  8. Corbyn
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    Corbyn Lost in my own head Contributor

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    ^ That's what I thought... So you can imagine I thought it odd that on a different site everyone was all about the page count. I've never seen it done that way as most places I've been too in the real world or site do things according to word count and don't bother with page estimates.... Thanks for all the input!
     
  9. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    A general rule is that publishers prefer your first novel to be around 80k - 90k words. It's not exactly set in stone, and people have published debut novels with 150.00 words or more. But if you think like that and compare the size of actual debut books, you might get an idea on the word count vs book size. But keep in mind there are lots of different formats, even for the same book.
     
  10. Corbyn
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    Corbyn Lost in my own head Contributor

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    Maybe I should have been more clear in my original post... I have never heard of someone tracking ones work based off of page count because as everyone else has pointed out... it's NOT the same when formatted for publishing and so on and so forth. I recently joined a group through an Indie writer on another site. A few of the people there track their work based on page count and equate one word page to equal out two published. I thought this odd since MOST normal people use word count. I understand word count but just curious if anyone else had ever seen this done and what if any truth to the formula there might be. More a curiosity on my part than anything else as I didn't feel like it was accurate. Thanks to everyone whose replied.
     
  11. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have never seen it done like that, but I have seen people counting the words based on the average number of words pr page. I think it's because while it's easy to click Word Count in our word processors now, it wasn't quite that easy when you had to use a type writer. ;)
     
  12. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Really? Interesting... :rolleyes: anyway I think page count is just a curiosity for the writer, for giving them an idea if it's going to be as heavy a book as they want it to. ;) the publishers only seem to care about word count.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sounds to me like the folks on that site are clueless about the business of being a writer... not a good site for a serious writer to hang around on, imo...

    what site is it?
     
  14. Corbyn
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    Corbyn Lost in my own head Contributor

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    ^ It's an Indy writing group site, they're based out of Cali... they mostly do e publishing for Barnes and Noble and Amazon, although the major writer on the site got picked up by Bantam

    I'm not sure about the rest of the writers who participate, I've only talked to a handful of them. I've read some here and there (It's basically a critique group) but not a lot as of yet.
     
  15. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    As I understand it:

    Publishers care about pages. The number of paper pages in the book determines much the book will cost to print. So page count is what matters; the _real_ word count isn't.

    That's because the real word count doesn't tell you how many pages you have - a writer who produces a whole lot of partial-line paragraphs will have fewer words-per-page than a writer who writes a lot of long paragraphs, so plain word count doesn't tell you how expensive his book will be to publish.

    "Estimated word count" is, as I understand it, determined by:

    - Formatting the manuscript to a given paper size, font, font size, margin size, line spacing, etc. I'm not immediately finding what all these standards are, but there are standards.

    - Seeing how many pages that produces.

    - Multiplying the pages by a standard words-per-page number.

    So your word count as it comes out of your word processor is not what's wanted - what's wanted is an estimated word count calculated by specific standards. It might be more sensible to abandon word count and just use page count, but traditions are what they are.

    I could, of course, be wrong on this from beginning to end. :) But I think I've got it right.

    ChickenFreak
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the word count you give agents/publishers is always approximate, rounded off to the nearest 500-1,000... so you can use the ms word count for your ms, or any other method, since a differential of a few hundred words won't matter anyway...
     

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