I have been looking around the internet and haven't been able to find the answer to a fairly simple question. I was wondering if people had any estimates on how many words to an average page. So if I have written 25,000 words (I heven't) I would like to know how many pages that would be. I know it would change based on typeface, etc, but does anyone have a rough estimate?
March 7th, 2005, 06:16 PM
I can give you a guestimate.
If you use Times New Roman, if your average word length is 5 characters, if you single space you will have 40 lines per page, you will average about 10.5 words per line, and will have about 420 words per page. (I mean regular 8.5 x 10 inch pages.) 25,000 words would come in at about 59.52 pages.
I have no idea how that would translate to book pages.
Hope this helps,
March 7th, 2005, 07:00 PM
Actually, I was thinking regular paperback pages (sorry for not being more clear). I am going pick some random pages from a couple of different paperbacks and see how many I count.
March 7th, 2005, 11:27 PM
You can drive yourself crazy trying to count words on book pages. It all depends on how the things are typeset and how big the margins are. Two books with the same number of words can have different numbers of pages. Sometimes, drastically different numbers of pages. Publishers don't want to know how many pages you think you've written. They look at word counts.
March 7th, 2005, 11:28 PM
A very rough standard estimate is 250 words per double-spaced manuscript page. So if you'd written 25,000 words, you might have about 100 manuscript pages. (Don't bother with printed book pages -- the typeface, margins and other production tricks will make it a painful process.)
Since the margins, typeface and number of double-spaced lines may vary from author to author, the number of words you actually have on a manuscript page may be less than 250 words or significantly more. To get a more accurate count, you can count the number of words in three different, full lines on a page you've written, then average the number of words per line from those three numbers, then multiply the average by the number of lines on the page. That gives you an average page count for yourself. So say you discover you have 200 words per page. Then, when you reach 25,000 words, you should be at around 125 double-spaced manuscript pages.
Most major word processing programs have a word count function that you can use, and while they aren't a 100 percent accurate, they work well enough for estimates. If you really, really are dying to know how many words a published author wrote, then you can try the page averaging trick above to get an approximation on a printed book. But the length range for a novel these days is anywhere from 20,000 words (or 40,000 depending on who you talk to,) to infinity and beyond.
March 7th, 2005, 11:46 PM
I was curious about this at one time, and discovered the following:
Stephen King's The Stand is 575,000 words / 1,138 small print pages in a paperback book.
Mick Foley's book Mankind is 221,000 words. I'm not sure how many pages, but it looks like it's only slightly smaller than The Stand . . . with much larger print.
March 8th, 2005, 02:09 PM
Right, it depends on what packaging and book price they decide to use. Over time, print size has generally gotten smaller, and sf and fantasy stories have tended to grow longer. But it's up to the publisher.
For example, I just bought "Prince of Ayodhya" by Ashok K. Banker (see Official Author Forums.) I bought it in the British paperback edition from Orbit. It has a nice cover and is quite thick at 525 pages. I also could have bought the Warner Aspect edition of the same book, which was almost half the size of the Orbit edition with much tinnier print. The price for both books was about the same, though.
March 8th, 2005, 05:16 PM
I'm new here. I've been researching this for my own novel, and I've found the following guideline. I have not confirmed the accuracy:
For Novel submissions, publishers count words as follows:
Estimate is one word = 6 characters (including spaces).
Submit manuscripts with 25 double-spaced lines per page at 60 characters per line (don't right justify).
Pages count as 250 words each. Pages with chapter headings should be started 1/3 of the way down the page. These pages also count as 250 words.
Pages that preceed chapter headings count as 125 words regardless of the actual word count on the page.
Hope that helps. I can't write with only 60 characters per line, but that is what the guideline says.
March 9th, 2005, 04:27 PM
The guidelines would seem to be incorrect. Words are not usually counted as only six characters, since most words vary considerably from either side of that. Publishers don't care how many characters you fit on a line, unless you're shoving so many on that the print size is exceedingly small (they read a lot and are trying not to go blind too early.) They also don't care how many lines that you have on a page unless again, you've squashed so many lines on the page that it's not really double-spaced and is very hard to read.
The 250 words per page is an average figure that publishers use for quick, rough estimates of ms. word count, usually rounding up or down from that estimate depending on how much white space an author seems to have. They do not, however, require that you only have 250 words per page. They do not have time to count how many words you have on each page, and again, as long as the type is easy to read, they don't necessarily care. They do care some about total word count, but not per page count.
The first pages of chapters are usually started half way down the page, not one third. It is not absolutely necessary to do this, but it is custom and it does make things a lot easier. The counting of a chapter end page as 125 words makes no sense to me at all, given that an end page may have two sentences or be a full page. For rough estimates, it's easiest to just use the 250 words per page average and then round up or down.
I always love the image of editors with rulers and red pens, counting every word on pages, measuring the margins, etc., of each submission they receive, but any editor who wasted time on that wouldn't last as an editor very long.
September 6th, 2007, 05:33 PM
http://www.writersservices.com/wps/p_word_count.htm provides some estimates for words per page, and the size of your novel depending on total words. It also gives estimates for large print (250 wpp), academic (1000 wpp), etc.
Their averages for paperbacks are:
35 lines per page
350 words per page
This accounts for whitespace, etc.
In MS Word, I find that writing with Courier New, Font size 10, top and bottom margins set to 3cm, left and right margins default (3.17cm), and line spacing set to 1.5 gets pretty close to those averages.
The length of your novel is up to you, but most publishers look at total word count. (MS Word has functions for this). I've heard from several sources that the average beginner length is about 75,000 words - about 250 pages.
Note that Stephen King writes anything between 75000 and 250000 words, while Robert Jordan is usually in the 200,000+ area.
My suggestion is don't pad - if you've said what needs to be said, and everything has occurred that is required to reach the conclusion, then don't worry if it's short. It doesn't matter. This is why King's novels vary so much in size - he writes what he wants. Sometimes he needs to write a lot. Sometimes very little. Compare Blaze and The Stand and you'll see what I mean.