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question about word count

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Been wondering this for a while. When I do 'word count' in MS Word, how does it count words? Is it every word. So the letter 'I' or 'A' is the same as a longer word?

When you have a typed page on word, about how many words is that on a page? I am guessing its double space right?

In a hardcover and a paperback book, how many words do you normally get per page?

just been wondering this for a while. Non-writers generally don't think in number of words.

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Yes to your first question. "A" is a word. So are "the" and "rotunda" and "rectangle" and "America". "The rectangle" counts as two words.

To your other questions, I have no idea. It probably depends on the publisher. I know that manuscripts are all submitted in Courier, a font where each character takes up the exact same amount of space. This way, agents/editors can guesstimate rather accurately the word count from the page count/character count. I don't know the specific number though.

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To your other questions, I have no idea. It probably depends on the publisher. I know that manuscripts are all submitted in Courier, a font where each character takes up the exact same amount of space. This way, agents/editors can guesstimate rather accurately the word count from the page count/character count. I don't know the specific number though.

That's not always true. There are plenty of places which accepts Times New Roman as well.

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MS Word word count does exactly what one would expect, it simply counts the number of words (with contractions counting as one word, so "it's" is one word whereas "it is" is two words).

However, publishers typically count words in a different fashion. See for instance this article: http://www.sfwa.org/2005/01/what-is-a-word/

As for words per page, it depends on how big your margins are, what font and size you're using, etc. Standard manuscript format with Courier should be around 250 words per page and a bit over 300 with Times New Roman. As for printed books, it varies widely. Smaller paperbacks usually have around 300 words, larger ones can have over 500. My paper back copy of Storm of Swords has a whopping 600 words per page.

Edited by Syme
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