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When considering book length, I usually think in terms of...

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently, upon updating some friends on the progress I've made with my current work, I was surprised to hear several of them brush my word count aside, imploring me to provide them with a page count instead.

I have never thought in terms of pages (either as an author or reader), and so it was surprising to learn that some seem to go by this exclusively. In their own words, a word count was "meaningless" to them because they had no frame of reference for how many words comprised a typical novel.

I'm curious to hear your thoughts. Do you think in terms of pages, word count, a mixture of the two, or something else when considering book length?

In my view, book formatting is so varied it makes page counts rather meaningless.

What do you think?
 

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As an author, I'd vote for word count. As I reader, page count. The poll has no meaning without knowing the target as most on here a authors who in the main think in terms of word counts ranges when writing a book.. As a formatter, I'll agree that page count is a nonsense, but that's what readers know.

I would be very surprised if that were not the case between authors, publishers and readers. Readers are not conditioned to word counts. Word counts are not shown anywhere an any publication for sale.

There are no pages in eBooks because what you see on the screen is variable. eBooks are more about locations. That's why Amazon gives an estimated page count for ebooks, or match the print book count, because that is what readers are conditioned to.

In a book store I would think it would be spine width to judge one book against another for length at first glance.
 
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Of course readers think in terms of page count. That’s all you can see when buying a book, whether physical or ebook.

Do you think when readers go to a bookstore they count every word in a novel before purchasing it, or do you think they see how many pages it has?
 

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Of course readers think in terms of page count. That’s all you can see when buying a book, whether physical or ebook.

Do you think when readers go to a bookstore they count every word in a novel before purchasing it, or do you think they see how many pages it has?
When I go to a book store, I look at the writing, the cover... not the page count. In an ebook all I see are those damn references, not pages. The only time, as a reader, I've given two moments of thought to page count was when I noticed that one big fat book had large type and was bloated and realized that the book I'd just finished with fewer pages held more story.

Plus, as an avid reader, I have different editions of books that have different page counts. Yet THE SUN ALSO RISES winds up being just over 60k words no matter how they print it.
 

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When I go to a book store, I look at the writing, the cover... not the page count. In an ebook all I see are those damn references, not pages. The only time, as a reader, I've given two moments of thought to page count was when I noticed that one big fat book had large type and was bloated and realized that the book I'd just finished with fewer pages held more story.

Plus, as an avid reader, I have different editions of books that have different page counts. Yet THE SUN ALSO RISES winds up being just over 60k words no matter how they print it.
Congratulations, you’re in the minority when it comes to readers.

Publishers don’t advertise word count, hence why the only unit of measurement readers have is page count.
 

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I was a reader long before I was an author. As a reader I care about page count. As an author I think it terms of words--perhaps because I'm writing them and at that point it's your only real point of reference.

And no, I don't need to check number of pages when i look at a print book on a shelf. My brain is quite capable of ball parking that just by seeing the trim size. Assuming someone didn't use some big ass font or giant margins. And if that's the case there is a very strong possibility it was written by an indie and nowhere on a shelf anyway. Sad, but true

When looking at ebooks on Amazon or anywhere else, I always look for the page count as a guide.
 

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As a reader, I don't care about page count or word count nearly as much as the cover and blurb, but I have seen a lot of books with word counts listed in the author note at the bottom of the blurb. Some readers may care.
 

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When I go to a book store, I look at the writing, the cover... not the page count. In an ebook all I see are those damn references, not pages.
At least some ebooks offer the option to show the page count rather than the ‘time remaining’ details, if that’s something you’d want to have. You can find it under the font choice menu designated by the Aa.
 

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Readers
Recently, upon updating some friends on the progress I've made with my current work, I was surprised to hear several of them brush my word count aside, imploring me to provide them with a page count instead.

I have never thought in terms of pages (either as an author or reader), and so it was surprising to learn that some seem to go by this exclusively. In their own words, a word count was "meaningless" to them because they had no frame of reference for how many words comprised a typical novel.

I'm curious to hear your thoughts. Do you think in terms of pages, word count, a mixture of the two, or something else when considering book length?

In my view, book formatting is so varied it makes page counts rather meaningless.

What do you think?
Typically, readers are interested in how many pages a book is, where writers measure progress by word count. I write 2000 words per day on average. The number of pages that inhabits will vary depending on what I'm writing. If it's primarily dialogue, the page count will be higher. Descriptions with long paragraphs take up fewer pages.
Also the number of pages will change according to print size and book dimensions. The Bard's Blade at roughly 120k words is 432 pages and 5.44 x 1.08 x 8.29 inches. Dragonvein Book One is only 20k fewer words, but 308 pages and 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches.
 

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At least some ebooks offer the option to show the page count rather than the ‘time remaining’ details, if that’s something you’d want to have. You can find it under the font choice menu designated by the Aa.
Thanks. I didn't know that. I seldom read ebooks. I look at them to proof book formats, but when I want to read, I revert to dinosaur mode and read paperbacks. My brain equates screens with work, not pleasure. So much to learn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Congratulations, you’re in the minority when it comes to readers.

Publishers don’t advertise word count, hence why the only unit of measurement readers have is page count.
I'm in that minority (as a reader) also. I don't care about the number of pages. If it's a physical book, I always investigate font size and so forth and then try to make my best guess at how long it will take me to finish it! :)

I don't think there is a write (get it?) or wrong answer here. I was just curious. Different brains work in different ways. It's fun to be surprised by little things like this, I think. It makes me realize that some people are having a totally different life experience. :)
 
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