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Topic: Determining word count

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Jami S. (Ponzu) - ,
Subject: Determining word count
Date Posted: 5/4/2010 9:11 PM ET
Member Since: 11/16/2008
Posts: 14
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When writing in Word, it will tell you a word count.  But I have read not to go by that.  I have read that you count the number of lines on the page, then count the number of words across on a couple of lines.  Then you multiply the average number of words per line by the number of lines to get you words per page count, then you just multiply that by the number of pages to get your word count.

I just completed a book that I am going to try to get sold.  Word says it is around 75,000 words (I don't have the exact number in front of me).  By using the formula above, I get around 90,000 words.  That is a big difference.

My question is, which word count do I use, the on done by Word, or the one figured by formula?

Jami

Date Posted: 5/5/2010 12:18 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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The formula used varies from publisher to publisher.  Also varies from using Word or Open Office to other word processors.

NOW, when sending things in, I have used what word told me usually rounded up to the nears 100 words say its 55,643. Then I'd say its 55,700 words.

I have only seem people suggest the formula method when needing to guess how many words they have since this amount will vary on the size of font you are using.
I think most are more interested in seeing the manuscript set up in the correct manner (according to what their website states and submission guidelines) then actual word counts.

Jami S. (Ponzu) - ,
Subject: determining word count
Date Posted: 5/11/2010 12:42 AM ET
Member Since: 11/16/2008
Posts: 14
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Thanks for the help.