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Thread: 5300 words = how many paperback pages?

  1. #1
    To-to-to-ron-to Darzian's Avatar
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    5300 words = how many paperback pages?

    I am aware that the length of chapters, etc.. varies widely according to each individual story.

    My first chapter is 5300 words long. I was just wondering how many pages that would make on a typical paperback book. I'm using Courier 12 (And I hate it, I love TNR but most forums advise courier) and it comes to 17 page in MS Word (font size is 12).

    Any ideas? I don't want the chapter to be hideously long. I could possibly split this one into two but I need a general idea of how many pages first.

    PS I know that font size varies among books. Just a general idea.

  2. #2
    living in the past ishtar'sgate's Avatar
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    Checked mine. There's 385 words per page so 5300 words would be about thirteen and a half pages.
    Linnea

  3. #3
    Lightly salted Willowmound's Avatar
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    I did a survey once and came to the conclusion that the AVERAGE paperback pocketbook novel had ~350 words per page.
    I has a beard.

  4. #4
    To-to-to-ron-to Darzian's Avatar
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    Thank you guys!

    Then it comes to around 14-16 pages. That seems alright for a chapter.

  5. #5
    Back from the dead
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    I don't think that length of chapters matters too much; I am reading a novel at the moment where some chapters are less than two whole pages. In my novels I try and let each chapter have one main thing happening and a small "cliffhanger" or change in conflict to occur at each chapter end. In my first draft the chapters were around 4,750 words but I found that I could split them all pretty well up the middle into two, so with a bit of re-writing here and there I now have twice as many chapters but I feel that the length is appropriate for what I am writing. I didn't do the split until the first draft was finished - just goes to show how much little planning I did beforehand...

    Still Lurking

  6. #6
    Sheriff Bullwinkle the Poet says: RJK's Avatar
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    As mentioned before, a novel can have one chapter or many. I've seen chapters that are 50 pages long and others that are 1 paragraph. Pick a method to organize your chapters and stick with it throughout your WIP.

  7. #7
    no, really jannawrites's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willowmound View Post
    I did a survey once and came to the conclusion that the AVERAGE paperback pocketbook novel had ~350 words per page.
    I thought that, in the process of figuring word count and such, we were to compute it at 250 words per page. Thoughts?

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW Kryianna's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that you only "need" to use Courier for printing. While writing, use whatever font/size is most comfortable for you.

    Me? TNR, single spaced. If I had to compose in double spaced Courier, I would never get anything written.

  9. #9
    Anachronista 2Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jannawrites View Post
    I thought that, in the process of figuring word count and such, we were to compute it at 250 words per page. Thoughts?
    It's my understanding that for manuscript submission, done in a non-proportional font such as Courier 12 or Time New Roman 12, double spaced, with 1" margins all round that it will generally average out at 25 lines/page with 10 words/line. Hence the 250 words/page.

    However, fonts and layouts vary enormously in the published versions. Some large novels may have 500 words to a page, others can be as low as 200. It all depends.
    Just my 10.5 cents.
    Last edited by 2Wheels; 08-24-2008 at 01:29 AM. Reason: posted before message completed - I hate that!
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  10. #10
    no, really jannawrites's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2Wheels View Post
    It's my understanding that for manuscript submission, done in a non-proportional font such as Courier 12 or Time New Roman 12, double spaced, with 1" margins all round that it will generally average out at 25 lines/page with 10 words/line. Hence the 250 words/page.

    However, fonts and layouts vary enormously in the published versions. Some large novels may have 500 words to a page, others can be as low as 200. It all depends.
    Just my 10.5 cents.
    Yeah, that makes sense. Manuscript submission count vs. finished product count.

  11. #11
    Publishers try to get as close to 250 words to a published page (book page, not MS page) because that makes it very easy to convert word counts into page counts. I’ve found, however, if you use the rough estimate of 250 words per page, you come very close just by looking at a manuscript as to how many words are contained within. For example, a 320-page MS is about 80,000 words and this seems pretty consistent. Of course, itty bitty quirky things like narrative-rich versus dialogue-rich manuscripts throw this off, but on an average, in manuscripts in which narrative and dialogue are fairly balanced (as should be the case) then the 320 page equals 80,000 words formula works fairly well. However, nothing beats using a word processor word counting tool. Although this method is not entirely accurate, it’s closer than nothing at all.

    Taken from our blog at www.wyliemerrick.blogspot.com

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