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Misanthropology101
04-24-2012, 10:53 PM
Regardless of whether it's requested as part of the initial submission guidelines or only as a follow-up, when an agent or publisher asks to see "the first 50 pages" or some similar number, does that refer to pages in the electronic document format (.docx, .pdf, etc.)? Or is there a formula for roughly estimating how many pages of Microsoft Word translate to 50 pages of printed book that we should be using?

Thanks as ever!

Drachen Jager
04-24-2012, 11:05 PM
Formatted manuscript pages.

Double spaced, 12pt font, 1" margins, the whole deal.

Normally you should take the nearest break to the 50 page mark, so long as it doesn't make more than about a 10% difference either way nobody seems to care. My current '50 page' submission is actually 46 pages because that happens to fall right on a chapter break.

James D. Macdonald
04-24-2012, 11:49 PM
First 12,500 words.

MttStrn
04-25-2012, 01:28 AM
Forgive me for asking but how does a blanket number of words automatically equal 50 pages? A work filled with short snappy dialogue and short chapters would be a very different number of pages from a work that has long paragraphs and longer bits of dialogue.

I believe Drachen Jager hit it right on the head. As long as your work is formatted to industry standards, just send the first 50 pages of it rounding off to the nearest chapter.

shaldna
04-25-2012, 03:30 AM
Regardless of whether it's requested as part of the initial submission guidelines or only as a follow-up, when an agent or publisher asks to see "the first 50 pages" or some similar number, does that refer to pages in the electronic document format (.docx, .pdf, etc.)? Or is there a formula for roughly estimating how many pages of Microsoft Word translate to 50 pages of printed book that we should be using?

Thanks as ever!

50 pages would be the first 50 pages of a formatted MS - think something like Word / OpenOffice etc - 12 pt, times/courier, double spaced.

shaldna
04-25-2012, 03:32 AM
Forgive me for asking but how does a blanket number of words automatically equal 50 pages? A work filled with short snappy dialogue and short chapters would be a very different number of pages from a work that has long paragraphs and longer bits of dialogue.

I believe Drachen Jager hit it right on the head. As long as your work is formatted to industry standards, just send the first 50 pages of it rounding off to the nearest chapter.

On AVERAGE a page, correctly formatted, has between 200 and 250 words. Some pages will be less, such as pages heavy with dialogue, and some will be more.

Once!
04-25-2012, 11:02 AM
I get the feeling that this is an area ripe with spurious accuracy. When they ask for 50 pages they are not going to reject you for sending 51 or 49. They just want a sizeable chunk of text (but not the whole thing) so that they can judge your writing style over a sustained period. Keep it sensible, think for yourself and you'll be fine.

If I may say so, there are far more important things to worry about, such as making sure that the quality of writing is good enough to grab their attention.

rac
04-27-2012, 12:34 AM
The idea is to aim for 50 pages. Try for the end of a chapter or the end of a scene. You don't want to cut in the middle of dialogue! That said, if the writing is great and the agent is absorbed, running under or over a few pages won't make a difference. The important thing is to make the agent want to read more.