Added 10/09. Author’s note: Don’t use this to calculate page count for your own book! I was just learning when I posted this, and these number are off.
“How long will your book be?” Dad asked one day as I updated him on my writing progress.
“Uh, I dunno,” I replied. “It’ll be as long as it ends up when I finish it.”
After researching publishing until it came out my ears, I realized that’s not really true. To make my book marketable and profitable, it needs to be about as long as other travelogues already on bookstore shelves.
So I looked at my collection of women’s travel memoirs. It’s Not About The Tapas, by Polly Evans, comes in at 284 pages. Tales of a Female Nomad, by Rita Golden Gelman, is 304 pages. And Somebody’s Heart is Burning, by Tanya Shaffer, hits 318 pages.
(Some authors base length on word count instead of page count. I find this confusing, since pages typed in Microsoft Word are said to come in a 250 words, but mine average about 300, even when I use one-inch margins and 12-point font. Can anyone explain this? Either way, I’m sticking to page count.)
Manuscript length, however, the number of pages of my work in Microsoft Word, is different than the length of the published book. Printed books usually end up at about two-thirds the length of a manuscript.
That means to end up with a published book of 300 pages, my manuscript needs to be about 450 pages.
Wow — I didn’t realize I needed that many pages in Microsoft Word until just now, calculating for the blog! Did I say I’ve written a third of the book?
Let’s make that written nearly a third of the book.