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toneman
03-23-2016, 04:11 PM
How much does the exact word count in my manuscript matter when mentioning it in my query? Should I round it up to the nearest 500, 1000? What if I change the manuscript between the query and partial or full inquiry to be a different word count?

Aggy B.
03-23-2016, 04:25 PM
I round up to the nearest 1000 words. (Unless it's something like 92, 114 words. In which case I would round down.) I think I also used the phrase "complete at approximately 95k words". Of course, agents will know that it's unlikely your MS is exactly 95k words even if you don't say "approximately".

I would also suggest that you don't start querying until you aren't making further edits and revisions to your MS. (Now, you might get agent feedback and want to address that in your MS, but at that point you would stop sending out query letter until you have a new, polished draft.) I did make changes to my MS when I was querying, but that was only after a Revise & Resubmit request.

It's hard not to be impatient to get something out there, but don't query until you are as completely satisfied with your MS as you can be. Some agents will surprise you and respond quickly; you don't want to be in a position where you are rushing to finish the last revisions or telling the agent "You'll have to wait a month because I'm not done with my revisions." (And I'm not saying never make changes once you start querying, but you should feel confident in your MS and ready to send it out immediately when you send out your first query.)

Best of luck.

Earthling
03-23-2016, 05:04 PM
I rounded up to the nearest 5k. Well actually I rounded down, because 95k looked better than 100k. :D

Nobody's going to notice unless it's wildly ​different.

Jamesaritchie
03-23-2016, 06:25 PM
With novels, I put down whatever count the word processor gives me. There's just no reason not to do so. Do you really think the agent isn't going to check the count if the manuscript is requested?

L. OBrien
03-23-2016, 06:46 PM
I'd second why Aggy B. said. It seems like the convention is to round to the nearest thousand, probably because it's easier to look at and no one's particularly concerned about a couple hundred words in either direction.

mayqueen
03-23-2016, 10:44 PM
I also round to the nearest 1,000. I have no idea when and why I started, but for some reason, 95,000 looks more appealing to me than 94,681.

ElaineA
03-23-2016, 10:53 PM
With novels, I put down whatever count the word processor gives me. There's just no reason not to do so.

There's agents advising query writers to round to the nearest 100 or 1000. That's a reason.

toneman
03-24-2016, 02:50 AM
With novels, I put down whatever count the word processor gives me. There's just no reason not to do so. Do you really think the agent isn't going to check the count if the manuscript is requested?
I used Open Office for a long time. But I recently discovered that OO's word count tool is inaccurate, sometimes wildly so. I just got MS Office, and checked two of my manuscripts against it from OO. One was lower by a couple hundred, one was lower by several thousand.

mpack
03-24-2016, 03:01 AM
I used Open Office for a long time. But I recently discovered that OO's word count tool is inaccurate, sometimes wildly so. I just got MS Office, and checked two of my manuscripts against it from OO. One was lower by a couple hundred, one was lower by several thousand.

I checked a section of my WiP with four different word processors. Got four different answers (all within a few hundred of each other, but still.)

Aggy B.
03-24-2016, 03:45 AM
With novels, I put down whatever count the word processor gives me. There's just no reason not to do so. Do you really think the agent isn't going to check the count if the manuscript is requested?

Not only do word processors not all count the same way, if you have a proper title page and headers that will add words to the "exact" word count. An estimate is just fine as long as it's not wildly different. I used the nearest thousand because it was nice and neat. No one ever said "I was going to offer on this but then I noticed your word count was inexact." Because that would be stupid.

Treehouseman
03-24-2016, 04:39 AM
Nearest thousand!

ZachJPayne
03-24-2016, 05:24 AM
Nearest thousand is what I usually see recommended.

SwallowFeather
03-24-2016, 11:10 PM
I think I did nearest thousand when I was submitting just by instinct. It seems to me to just make sense.