Word Counts

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
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gilesth
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Word Counts

Post by gilesth » April 5th, 2010, 10:30 am

Okay, I know Nathan talked about this a couple of weeks ago, but I just wanted to triple check to make sure I'm on the right track. So, the word count of my book, according to Microsoft Word, is 81k...but a formula that Nathan mentioned brings my word count down to 68k. This formula is suggested by another agent (I can't remember her name), and she said that the general rule of thumb is to assume that you have 250 words per page of the book. When I'm querying, which guideline should I go by? And will deviating from either one of these make me look dishonest to an agent?

JenLT
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Re: Word Counts

Post by JenLT » April 5th, 2010, 11:08 am

I have read on various agent blogs that it doesn't matter that much which formula you go with...however, most say to just use the count from your word processing program. Either way, since both methods are regularly used, I don't think an agent would think you're dishonest because you chose one over the other.

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Quill
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Re: Word Counts

Post by Quill » April 5th, 2010, 11:18 am

I don't think it is wise to assume that everyone assumes there is an average of 250 words per page. Depends on font, font size, chapter breaks, amount of dialog, etc. I would go with Microsoft Word's count.

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Bryan Russell/Ink
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Re: Word Counts

Post by Bryan Russell/Ink » April 5th, 2010, 12:33 pm

Nowadays you can just go by the word count off your program of choice. Particularly when that number is right on the button for what the industry wants. Hint hint...
The Alchemy of Writing at www.alchemyofwriting.blogspot.com

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gonzo2802
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Re: Word Counts

Post by gonzo2802 » April 5th, 2010, 1:16 pm

Go with the word count Microsoft gives you. The 250 words per page guideline is typically a rough calculation way for people who don't have access to a word counter in their writing program.

If MSWord tells you 81K, that's what I'd put on your query letter.

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