HomeWritersLiterary AgentsEditorsPublishersResourcesDiscussion
Forum Login | Join the discussion
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17
  1. #1
    Deejay
    Guest

    Question about word count

    Whenever I do word count for a completed manuscript, I simply use the word count feature in Word. No one has ever complained but I am wondering if there is a more accurate way to do this.

    Thanks,

    Deejay



  2. #2
    Picture Book
    Guest

    Re: Question about word count

    No

  3. #3
    Picture Book
    Guest

    Re: Question about word count

    Unless Quark does it better!

  4. #4
    MaryG
    Guest

    Re: Question about word count

    If you put "page so & so" on the paper, be forewarned that it includes that in word count. Same with the title, chapter headings & any personal info you put at the top or bottom.

    I usually take the total Word gives, & delete the stuff that doesn't "count."

  5. #5
    Lisa Werth
    Guest

    Re: Question about word count

    I have the answer to this question from my agent somewhere. But the word counter isn't always reliable in big documents, same as spelling and grammar check. I'll see if I can track down his answer.
    Lisa

  6. #6
    Deejay
    Guest

    Re: Question about word count

    Thanks all. Lisa, I will be curious to see what your agent said about this.

    Deejay

  7. #7
    Lisa Werth
    Guest

    Re: Question about word count

    I can't find his response anymore in my saved e-mails, but his explanation had to do with sometimes the program counters counts lines used (or typed on) on each page. It will sometimes average out a word to every six spaces in that line whether there are actually that many words there or not. I did look up word count and came across this information too.

    http://members.aol.com/ESinclair1/page6.html

    First of all, keep in mind that they are asking for an approximate word count, not a machine word count. That means you should not use the word count tool in your word processing program to count the words. That's an exact count and will have you either going way over or way under. (Lisa comment. I think they are missing the word not there)

    The word count is flexible. You can go slightly over the maximum or slightly under the minimum--about 1,000. The adjustment for the overage will be made by the printer when he/she chooses the type size. The specifications listed below are for 12 pt. Courier type, 24-26 lines per page (not counting the header), double-spaced text, 1" margins (all around). With these specifications, you will end up with about 250 words per page. NOTE: a line contains approximately 11 to 13 words. Lines that have one word in them will be counted with this formula as a full line, which is the purpose of the word count and more for the printer than the editor.

    Approximate word count formula: 250 x pages in book = approximate word count (Count words on a page to make sure you are getting 250 -- Number of words in a full line times number of lines per page will give you this number)
    Example: 200 pages x 250 words per page = 50,000 words
    # Words Pages
    50,000 200
    55,000 220
    60,000 240
    65,000 260
    70,000 280
    75,000 300
    80,000 320
    85,000 340
    90,000 360
    120,000 480

    The above formula works well if the book is already written, but suppose it isn't. Then what?

    The formula is this: Check the line you're writing for to find the average number of chapters in a book
    Divide that number into the guideline's word count. Example: 50,000 word count divided by 12 chapters per book = 4,200 words per chapter. Divide that by the number of words per page arrived at by using the formula above.
    Example: 4200 words per chapter divided by 250 words per page = approximately 16 pages per chapter

    This gives you an approximate number to shoot for when writing a chapter and keeps you within the boundaries of the word count you want to end up with. If one chapter either goes over or under the approximate pages per chapter, compensate with another chapter for either the shortage or the overage.

    Again, this came from this site: http://members.aol.com/ESinclair1/page6.html


    Hope it helps.
    Lisa

  8. #8
    Maggie Dana
    Guest

    Re: Question about word count

    I seem to remember reading somewhere, probably in a book about manuscript formatting, that agents/editors don't consider Word's word counter a reliable source. They prefer a formula based on a manuscript in 12-point Times with 1-inch margins, double-spaced, 25 lines per page:

    Number of manuscript pages X 275 words (based on average page of dialog & narrative)

    This will make your word count a little higher than an actual "WORD" word count which is what editors prefer. It helps them to correctly estimate the finished length of a book once it's been typeset because this sort of word count factors in the white space on the chapter opening page and whatever white space is left on the last page of each chapter.

    I'm a typesetter and I use character counts and/or word counts when doing estimates for publishers (non-fiction, sorry to say!!), and we always have to build in the white space when figuring out the length of a book.

    Hope this helps.

    Maggie

  9. #9
    Jay Carnine
    Guest

    Re: Question about word count

    This is going to be interesting.

    WP shows 232,675 words in the latest novel.
    It equates to about 433 pages single spaced and fills up two 2" binders about right. About right meaning both covers are level with the binders flat on a table.

    I ran the WP count program against a single page, came up with 599 words.
    One check against four sentences, WP shows 60 words and I count 70.
    Checking one line WP shows 16 words and I got the same count.

    Maggie's comment about Words word counter being unreliable looks to be true with WP as well.

    Jay

  10. #10
    Daphne
    Guest

    Re: Question about word count

    I just always say approximately 100,000+ words (for a single title that's over 100k, but under 120). Because if you sell, you'll be asked to send in a hard copy of your manuscript, and on diskette. After X rounds of editng, the production department will set it based on the design and format approved for your book; your type will go large or smaller, depending on final manuscript approval. Then you'll go over the page proofs one last time (last chance to make those changes without incurring $$$) At least this is how it goes at paperback publishers. I have no idea about H.C.

    All agents and editors seem to want to know is, is it within the range of the publisher's line/imprint, etc.?

    Daphne

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts