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eBook Page Count

G Younger

I'm about to post my first book to the Amazons of the world.

How do you determine page count and file size for the different formats?

The reason I ask is because I will see a book say it is 300 pages long and when I load it to my reader it's 1,000...

I understand why since it depends on the font size etc...

G Younger

Dominions Son

@G Younger

The reason I ask is because I will see a book say it is 300 pages long and when I load it to my reader it's 1,000...


Calculating page sizes for dead tree versions should be fairly straight forward.

For commercially published books available as a Kindle e-book, the listed page count is generally the page count for the mass-market paperback version, or if it's not available as a mass-market paperback, they might use the trade paperback, or hardcover volume page count.

Using the mass-market paperback page count makes sense because while most Kindle users use a larger font size, the screen size of a Kindle PaperWhite is about the size of a mass-market paperback.

Dominions Son

@G Younger

The reason I ask is because I will see a book say it is 300 pages long and when I load it to my reader it's 1,000...


Calculating page sizes for dead tree versions should be fairly straight forward.

For commercially published books available as a Kindle e-book, the listed page count is generally the page count for the mass-market paperback version, or if it's not available as a mass-market paperback, they might use the trade paperback, or hardcover volume page count.

Using the mass-market paperback page count makes sense because while most Kindle users use a larger font size, the screen size of a Kindle PaperWhite is about the size of a mass-market paperback.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@G Younger

I understand why since it depends on the font size etc...

If you're posting to Amazon, they allow you to 'view the book'. You simply select each view option to get an idea of the total page count for each device. However, that's largely a meaningless figure, so most authors/publishers don't talk 'page count', they instead talk about word count.

Even among printed books, there's a HUGE difference between the mass-market paperbacks you purchase at a newstand, a hard back book and the typical 6"x9" most of us produce when we produce paperbacks.

Ernest usually has the latest figures on how many words the typical mass-market paperback contains, just for comparisons sake.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

and the typical 6"x9"


That would be a trade paperback.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde

@G Younger

How do you determine page count and file size for the different formats?


For an ebook, you don't.

How Amazon determines it is a mystery. They must have some formula based on number of words, white space, etc. That's a guess, btw.

helmut_meukel

@Switch Blayde

For an ebook, you don't.

How Amazon determines it is a mystery. They must have some formula based on number of words, white space, etc. That's a guess, btw.


Hmmm,
I opened an ebook on my reader (Sony PRS-T1) and it displays 328 pages. The page numbering does not correspond to the page size shown by the reader, font size doesn't affect it.
The book is the ebook version of a dead tree book: "Under A Graveyard Sky" by John Ringo, Baen Books.
"Acknowledgements" start with 'page 9 of 328', the next ebook page shows 'page 9-10 of 328', followed by 'page 10 of 328'.
You see how it works?
The very same book opened with Calibre's Ebook Reader program shows '1.0 / 697'.

For use on my reader I created ebook versions of some stories I downloded from SOL and ASSTR using Calibre.

For the html files from SOL I used Calibres ebook editor with the 'xht.css' from SOL, but replaced the start of each chapter with with a short 6 line starting sequence of my own (head and body up to the chapter headline). At the end of the chapter I deleted all lines after the last text line exept the closing statements for body and html. I didn't set any page size explicitely.
Paging through one of these books it displays 'page 1 of 186', 'page 2 of 186', then Chapter 1 starts with 'page 3 of 186', 'page 3 of 186', 'page 3-4 of 186', 'page 4 of 186', page 4 of 186', 'page 4-5 of 186', 'page 5 of 186', 'page 5 of 186', 'page 5-6 of 186', 'page 6 of 186', 'page 6-7 of 186', ... Chapter 1 ends on 'page 12 of 186'.

The stories from ASSTR I stored as simple text files, deleted the line breaks within paragraphs and converted the files to EPUBs with Calibre using Calibre's default settings.
When I open one of these ebooks on the reader, it shows 'page 1 of 76'. Chapter 1 starts with 'page 3 of 76', 'page 3-4 of 76', 'page 4 of 76', 'page 4-5 of 76', ...
When I open the same ebook with Calibre's Ebook Reader program it displays '1.0 / 174'.

So to me it looks like each reading software uses its own formula to compute the page count!

HM.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ernest Bywater

page numbering makes sens in a pint book, but each e-book uses a different system and the numbers change with the font and other settings, which is why I list story word counts with my books on Lulu. That gives people a real idea of the story size.

helmut_meukel

@Ernest Bywater

and the numbers change with the font and other settings


Not on my Sony PRS-T1. The Sony ebook reader shows always the same total page count for a given book regardless of the font settings.

HM.

Ernest Bywater

@helmut_meukel

Not on my Sony PRS-T1. The Sony ebook reader shows always the same total page count for a given book regardless of the font settings.


then it's using some false and arbitrary setting, because a change of font type and size will always alter the amount of screen used, and since an e-book screen is supposed to be the e-book equivalent of a page it should change. Any arbitrary system won't give an accurate figure, which is why word counts are better.

If it says 200 pages, then I should only need 200 screens at the font size and setting giving that number, should the size change the number of words displayed will vary, and thus there would be more screens (i.e.e pages) to view.

Replies:   helmut_meukel
Switch Blayde

@helmut_meukel

The Sony ebook reader shows always the same total page count for a given book regardless of the font settings.


My ignorance of ebooks is going to show, but maybe the e-reader calculates the number of pages based on the default settings (e.g., font size). So if you change the font size to read an ebook, the e-reader doesn't bother to recalculate the number of pages. However, if you were to change the default, maybe it would.

helmut_meukel

@Ernest Bywater

then it's using some false and arbitrary setting, because a change of font type and size will always alter the amount of screen used, and since an e-book screen is supposed to be the e-book equivalent of a page it should change.


The Ebook Reader program that comes with Calibre does the same, it shows the same page count for a given book regardless of the actual size of its window.
Did you read my other post where I listed the page numbers shown by the Sony for consecutive pages?

The book is the ebook version of a dead tree book: "Under A Graveyard Sky" by John Ringo, Baen Books.
"Acknowledgements" start with 'page 9 of 328', the next ebook page shows 'page 9-10 of 328', followed by 'page 10 of 328'.
You see how it works?
The very same book opened with Calibre's Ebook Reader program shows '1.0 / 697'.


The "Acknowledgements" section starts with '9.0 / 697', the next ebook page shows '10.4 / 697', followed by '11.0 / 697' (End of "Acknowledgements").

If a reader or reader program recalculates the page count as you expect it to do, it would also have to actualize the page values in its internal list of Notes, Text Memos, ... Could be tricky.

I would like to hear how other reader devices and reader programs handle this problem (adaptation of total pages to different settings).

HM.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde

I've been checking some forums. Don't have an answer, but came upon an interesting post:

I am a university student and I have no way to cite these texts


Part of the footnote is the page number. But there is none with an ebook.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@G Younger


How do you determine page count and file size for the different formats?


Here's how Adobe does it for the Nook: https://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/thread/2707

There's a lot more to it, but this is the critical paragraph:

Here's the deal: Adobe "synthesizes" the page count and page numbering. Adobe reader software looks at the size of each of those HTML files and counts one page for each 1K (1024) bytes in size, rounded up. So if the file is 114 bytes, that's one page. 1024 bytes, one page. 1025 bytes, two pages. Now, what it's looking at is the actual size of the file inside the EPUB, and an EPUB is just a ZIP file with a specific layout. Since it's a ZIP file, the contained HTML files are compressed. Adobe uses the compressed size, not the actual number of bytes in the original HTML file. Anyway, it adds up all of those page counts and that's the number of "pages" in the e-book.


ETA: And this:

Keep in mind that this is just how Adobe does it. Since NOOK uses Adobe Reader Mobile for EPUBs, and Adobe Digital Editions and the various NOOK apps also use EPUB software from Adobe, they all agree as to "page" numbering. That's Adobe's plan: the page numbers don't mean anything you can put your finger on, but for a given e-book they are constant from one platform to another.

Replies:   helmut_meukel
Dominions Son

@helmut_meukel

I opened an ebook on my reader (Sony PRS-T1) and it displays 328 pages.


The thread is talking about the page count that is included in the Amazon book listing as part of the product description.

helmut_meukel

@Dominions Son

The thread is talking about the page count that is included in the Amazon book listing as part of the product description.


For ebooks that are also available as dead tree editions, Amazon.de simply uses the page count of the printed edition!
"Under a Graveyard Sky" is according to Amazon 384 pages.

Length: 384 pages (from the print edition ISBN...)

https://www.amazon.de/Under-Graveyard-Black-Rising-English-ebook/dp/B00ELR01M0/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_1

What page count does a Kindle or the Kindle app display when loading this ebook?

BTW, the page count problem isn't restricted to the Kindle and Amazon, it exists for all platforms!

HM.

Dominions Son

@helmut_meukel

For ebooks that are also available as dead tree editions, Amazon.de simply uses the page count of the printed edition!


So does Amazon.com. I mentioned that in the very first reply on this thread.

helmut_meukel

@Switch Blayde

Since NOOK uses Adobe Reader Mobile for EPUBs

The Sony T1 uses Adobe Reader Mobile too, so I guess it's the same count as with the Nook.
Any App not using the Adobe software, like Calibre, will come to a different value.

HM.

Dominions Son

@helmut_meukel

What page count does a Kindle or the Kindle app display when loading this ebook?


Neither the dedicated Kindle PaperWhite e-reader nor the PC app display any page count at all.

It does display a percentage progress through the book and a "location" count, but these locations don't correspond to pages, in fact one displayed page can have many locations.

I'm not sure what the locations correspond to, but looking at a commercially published novel, going from one page with two complete and two partial paragraphs to the next page which also has two complete and two partial paragraphs advances the location count by 13.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Dominions Son

Doing some rough calculations and examinations on a Kindle e-book in my library, the locations appear to correspond to individual sentences and/or lines of text.

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

I'm not sure what the locations correspond to,


When I was browsing the various forums on the subject, someone mentioned "locations" were a great advancement for non-fiction. The example was the ability to jump to charts or other important things in the book and return to where you were reading.

helmut_meukel
Updated:

Now obviously the lack of page numbers with Kindle and Kindle app are the problem for authors who offer only ebook versions of their books.

Wouldn't creating an EPUB version (eg. using Calibre) help? Then the author could use a Nook app to see what Adobe Reader Mobile comes up with or simply use the Calibre Ebook Reader and use this value.

Sony (Adobe) 328 pages - Calibre 697 pages

Sony (Adobe) 76 pages - Calibre 174 pages

HM.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@helmut_meukel

Now obviously the lack of page numbers with Kindle and Kindle app are the problem for authors who offer only ebook versions of their books.


There's nothing at all obvious about that.

Why should they bother listing a page count at all?

Dominions Son

I just looked up a book on Amazon.com available only as an e-book or audio book.

Amazon has this to say about the listed page count:

The estimated length is calculated using the number of page turns on a Kindle, using settings to closely represent a physical book.


It looks like there really isn't any reason for an e-book only self publisher to worry about page counts for publishing on Amazon.

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

It looks like there really isn't any reason for an e-book only self publisher to worry about page counts for publishing on Amazon.


For an unknown author, price is typically dependent on size.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

For an unknown author, price is typically dependent on size.


True, but as a buyer I judge that by word count, not page count.

helmut_meukel

@Dominions Son

Why should they bother listing a page count at all?


Because most readers want to know how many pages they'll get for their money and how long it will take to read it.

HM.

helmut_meukel

@Dominions Son

True, but as a buyer I judge that by word count, not page count.

I bet most buyers can't compare a word count of an ebook to a page count of a dead tree book.

HM.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

True, but as a buyer I judge that by word count, not page count.


Except Amazon doesn't give the word count. My "Last Kiss" novel is eBook only. Amazon lists:

File Size: 692 KB
Print Length: 337 pages

It's around 84,000 words, but Amazon doesn't specify that.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

Except Amazon doesn't give the word count. My "Last Kiss" novel is eBook only. Amazon lists:


1. What pen name is that under?
2. I checked a couple of other e-books on Amazon.com. They used to list word count under the product details, but back then they didn't estimate a page length. They must have dropped the word count when they started estimating page lengths.

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

1. What pen name is that under?


Elliot Scharfman

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

That would be a trade paperback.

Tis still considered a paperback—especially for those of us who can't afford a print run large enough to justify quad- or sixteenth-folded sheets of paper. When I offer a 'paperback', that's the only option I have available (unless I want to pay double the rate just because the smaller size adds to the page-rate total).

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

How do you determine page count and file size for the different formats?

For an ebook, you don't.

It's difficult, if not impossible, because often the difference is made up of the 'unprintables' (formatting, 2 or 4 character font characters, internal commands, multiple style definitions for the exact same styles (something that Calibre dumps into ebooks constantly). Thus there's no way to go from a stories 'total word count' to a total ebook file size.

But, the general rule of thumb, is the average number of characters to a word is five letters (when you average the typical word with the abundance of "a", "I", "be", "am" and "me" usages). Of course, that assumes that every author is writing for a fifth-grade audience (the standard mantra for most traditional publishers).

In essence, it's all a bit pile of smoke publishers expect authors to wrestle with, and a hardy way for the publishers to low-ball author's in payment negotiations!

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

page numbering makes sens in a pint book,

I always like being able to turn to a specific page when I'm enjoying a pint of my favorite novel!

which is why I list story word counts with my books on Lulu. That gives people a real idea of the story size.

It also provides a meaningful way to compare the size of different books, since each printer/device/reader each calculates number of pages differently. That way, "half the size of 'War & Peace'" means something.

Crumbly Writer

@helmut_meukel

The "Acknowledgements" section starts with '9.0 / 697', the next ebook page shows '10.4 / 697', followed by '11.0 / 697' (End of "Acknowledgements").

If a reader or reader program recalculates the page count as you expect it to do, it would also have to actualize the page values in its internal list of Notes, Text Memos, ... Could be tricky.

That's also why NO ebook lists page numbers in it's TOC, or on the text in the pages themselves.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I am a university student and I have no way to cite these texts

Part of the footnote is the page number. But there is none with an ebook.

In that case, I'd quit listing actual page numbers and switch to chapters (though, realistically, most university students purchase the cheaper and easier to carry ebook versions of printed volumes, so they could simply check their school library for the actual page numbers).

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

The thread is talking about the page count that is included in the Amazon book listing as part of the product description.

When you submit a file to Kindle, it offers to display the document using a variety of formats. In each case, it numbers them consecutively, rather than based on 'assumed compressed storage size'.

Of course, results vary with each (human) reader!

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

That's also why NO ebook lists page numbers in it's TOC, or on the text in the pages themselves.


No, it's because there's no such thing as a page in an eBook. Same as a webpage where it's one big page that you scroll down.

Crumbly Writer

@helmut_meukel

For ebooks that are also available as dead tree editions, Amazon.de simply uses the page count of the printed edition!

Generally, when you list a book (say for an html page listing multiple formats of the same book), you ONLY specify the page count of the print version! On my webpages, I list the page count and word count for comparison sakes (that when you compare things by how many bottles of sake it requires you to consume) (ex: "287 pages (print)/97,000 words").

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Why should they bother listing a page count at all?

They're NOT listing page counts, they're listing the page the reference appears on in the book. Thus there's nothing to reference in the scholarly paper.

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

It looks like there really isn't any reason for an e-book only self publisher to worry about page counts for publishing on Amazon.

For many who post exclusively to Kindle Select, page counts mean nothing at all (since many authors promote single 'books' chopped up into 10,000 word books so they get 'paid' for multiple book reads). However, for larger books (especially sci-fi), readers want to know just how LARGE the book is, so word count is the ONLY measure for how long it'll take to read a book.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@helmut_meukel

I bet most buyers can't compare a word count of an ebook to a page count of a dead tree book.

NO ONE CAN. That's why every device/publisher lists completely different page counts for the same book on the same devices. An ebook file with the exact same number of words can be MUCH larger on one ebook than in another.

However, if I see a 15,000 word novel, I'm not ABOUT to purchase it, while one marked at 500,000 words I also wouldn't purchase because I'd likely never read it (at least not before it's time to replace the device once again).

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

1. What pen name is that under?
2. I checked a couple of other e-books on Amazon.com. They used to list word count under the product details, but back then they didn't estimate a page length. They must have dropped the word count when they started estimating page lengths.

I suspect they only do that when the book is available as BOTH an ebook AND a print book. Most of my books list both (page and word counts). (Or at least they did the last time I bothered to check!)

Replies:   Dominions Son
samuelmichaels

@G Younger

One option is to use the "Count Pages" extension in Calibre. Its page size is arbitrary, but constant, and is somewhere in the vicinity of an average paperback page. It also supports several other ways to calculate page count (or download it).

helmut_meukel

@Crumbly Writer

That's also why NO ebook lists page numbers in it's TOC, or on the text in the pages themselves.

Right, there are no page numbers in the TOC of the ebook file but my Sony PRS-T1 (internally using Adobe Reader Mobile) nonetheless shows page numbers when displaying the Table of Content.

HM.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Tis still considered a paperback


True, but using Trade Paperback and Mass-market paperback will avoid confusion. If you just say paperback, 9 out of 10 people will assume you mean a mass-market paperback because that's the type of paper back most people are most familiar with.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

I suspect they only do that when the book is available as BOTH an ebook AND a print book. Most of my books list both (page and word counts). (Or at least they did the last time I bothered to check!)


5-10 years ago, they only listed a page count if there was a print version. Now they are estimating a page count for e-book only novels using settings on the Kindle chosen to most closely match a mass market paperback.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

For many who post exclusively to Kindle Select, page counts mean nothing at all (since many authors promote single 'books' chopped up into 10,000 word books so they get 'paid' for multiple book reads).


That's not true anymore. KU pays pages read. It doesn't matter how long the book is.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

True, but using Trade Paperback and Mass-market paperback will avoid confusion.


Most printers use the term US Trade for the 6 x 9 inch books and Pocket for the 4.25 x 6.87 inch books despite both being commonly provided in what the call Perfect Bound which is a paper or light cardboard cover they can be provided with different binding and cover styles - depending on what the printer can do and what the publisher wants it to be. Paperback is used to refer to the cover style and not a book size, despite what a lot of people think.

Ernest Bywater

I'll let you guys work out what they're doing from the following stats on a few books of mine I have available on Amazon et all:

No Names No Pack Drill is 91 pages of 6 x 9 inch, the .odt file is 4,900 KB due to all the images in it, e-pub is 2,800 KB, Amazon lists it as 4,275 KB and having 109 pages.

The Contagion is 36 pages of 6 x 9 inch,the .odt file is 45.6 KB, the e-pub is 723 KB, Amazon lists it as 399 KB and 33 pages.

Sam Sex Marriage Debacle is 23 pages of 6 x 9 inch,the .odt file is 34.5 KB, the e-pub is 368 KB, Amazon lists it as 351 KB and 23 pages.

B&N had no page counts and the KB sizes were a little higher than the Amazon ones

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

I'll let you guys work out what they're doing


I know what they are doing, since they actually say what they are doing.

The estimated page count shows up in blue near the top of the listing and if you hover on it, this text appears:

The estimated length is calculated using the number of page turns on a Kindle, using settings to closely represent a physical book.


The Kindle screen size is about the same size as a pocket book / mass market paperback.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

The Kindle screen size is about the same size as a pocket book / mass market paperback.


I guess they mean the Pocket as against the US Trade as all mt books are in the US Trade 6 x 9 yet when you compare mine to the Amazon ones you have 91 pages grows to 109 - for the difference between the US Trade and Pocket that seems reasonable, then you have 36 pages drops to 33 pages when it should be growing, and the last one is the same. There's an inconsistency there.

However, I still think using the word count is a much better measurement because a word count gives a more exact comparison between works other than photo books.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


then you have 36 pages drops to 33 pages when it should be growing, and the last one is the same.


My guess would be that you used a larger font size or some other formatting option that the Kindle doesn't support in the print versions of the latter two books.

I still think using the word count is a much better measurement


Agreed.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son


My guess would be that you used a larger font size or some other formatting option that the Kindle doesn't support in the print versions of the latter two books.


For many years I've written all my books in a preset format of 6 x 9 inch with set margins and 10 pt Palatino Linotype - everything is the same, except for the book format. All these books have been done the same way in that same format - so there is no variation on my end, it's all come in at their end. Anyway, it's some arbitrary setting they use, so it should give a consistency between e-books, but it seems to have an inconsistent variance.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

To try and get a better handle on this I'm doing the comparisons of the largest book I've got available through Amazon - Fiction Writing & Style Guide - 31, 862 words, 104 pages at 6 x 9 inches, 107.6 KB .odt, 444.2 KB e-pub at Amazon is 530 KB for 102 pages.

When I change the layout format to that used for Pocket instead of US Trade I get 193 pages instead of 104 pages. After trying various print book standards I did get a match with the Amazon page numbers for the print size known as Royal which is 6.13 x 9.21 inches.

NB: What i have available through Amazon are only my help guides and the few public special interest books I have out there. I don't put my regular stories through Amazon because it isn't worth it for me to do so.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


I still think using the word count is a much better measurement


Which is why when you query a publisher or agent, the first thing you tell them is the genre and word count. Not how many pages your Word doc is.

But other than authors or people in the publishing business, how many people know that n-number of words = n-number of pages? When they look at a book in a bookstore or airport, they might fan to the end to see how many pages.

My wife reads her Amazon purchased books on her iPad. I read the Kindle keeps track of your reading speed, but it works the same on her iPad. It tells her how much longer it will take to finish the book. She mentioned that when it said one minute she thought there was probably one page left, but it turned out to be more like 5. It just happens she's a very fast reader. But she automatically converted it to pages.

Readers know pages.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


how many people know that n-number of words = n-number of pages?


When I was doing tertiary studies, about 20 years ago, all the assignments were given out as xxxx words (not counting bibliography) of 12 point Times New Roman with 1.5 inch margins in double spacing on A4 which should yyyy pages - the staff had a good handle on how many words to a page, and most of the students did too, after their 1st or 2nd assignment was written. I would expect a similar basic knowledge from most people who've done such assignments.

On that note: I know of one prof who took a student's thesis, picked up the draft, felt the weight, and handed it back while saying, "Better go back through this, it doesn't feel heavy enough to meet the word count." - his student was stunned, but the prof had been handling those things for many years, so he likely had a good idea of the pages, and thus words from the weight.

typo edit

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


most of the students did too


I was talking about readers, not students. Students are often given an English assignment of, "Write 5,000 words on..." or "5 typed double spaced pages."

But if someone was talking about the new Stephen King book they read, someone might ask how long it was. The answer would be, "I don't know, maybe 400 pages," not, "I don't know, maybe 90,000 words."

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

But if someone was talking about the new Stephen King book they read, someone might ask how long it was. The answer would be, "I don't know, maybe 400 pages," not, "I don't know, maybe 90,000 words."


We must move in totally different groups of people, because I've never heard anyone answer a question about a book in page numbers. The answer is usually along the lines of a typical novel or a long novel or one of his typical sagas. I've also heard some described as short or extra long.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

I was talking about readers, not students.


I was simply saying most people do have an idea of how long a read is by a word count is from the experiences with assignments.

awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

When I want to get an idea of how long a dead tree novel is before I start reading it, I look at the number of pages. I have no idea how to ascertain the word count of a dead tree novel.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

That's not true anymore. KU pays pages read. It doesn't matter how long the book is.

It's not completely true anymore. Although they take page-counts into account, they still favor multiple short books over single longer stories. It's better, not yet completely fixed.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

All these books have been done the same way in that same format - so there is no variation on my end, it's all come in at their end. Anyway, it's some arbitrary setting they use, so it should give a consistency between e-books, but it seems to have an inconsistent variance.

That's why authors prefer using page count to explain a story size, whereas sellers use 'page count' as a marketing effort. It's NOT based on reality, and only gives a vague sense of how large a story actually is. Word count give an absolute comparison, regardless of formatting!

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I was simply saying most people do have an idea of how long a read is by a word count is from the experiences with assignments.

Readers think in terms of page count (hence the marketing efforts to create largely imaginary counts), though when they do comparisons (say when comparing a romance with a science fiction story) they typically relate to 'typical word count' (i.e. they have an innate feel for both, though they tend to think in terms of pages, all other things being equal).

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I was simply saying most people do have an idea of how long a read is by a word count is from the experiences with assignments.

Readers think in terms of page count (hence the marketing efforts to create largely imaginary counts), though when they do comparisons (say when comparing a romance with a science fiction story) they typically relate to 'typical word count' (i.e. they have an innate feel for both, though they tend to think in terms of pages, all other things being equal).

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

When I want to get an idea of how long a dead tree novel is before I start reading it, I look at the number of pages. I have no idea how to ascertain the word count of a dead tree novel.

It's called "Google"! (ex: "Dr. Zhivago word count").

Replies:   awnlee_jawking
awnlee_jawking

@Crumbly Writer

It's called "Google"! (ex: "Dr. Zhivago word count").


Surely that's not a good example because it depends on which translation you're reading. Unless you're reading it in its original Russian. ;)

AJ

Joe Long

Back when real books were all we had page counts was the only measure.

These days I'm much more familiar with word count to judge the size of a book and how much reading time it entails.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Readers think in terms of page count


I've been an avid reader for decades, and spoken with many other avid readers in that time, and not once have I come across a person who talks about a book by the number of pages in it.

Ernest Bywater

I don't know if this is still true of the dead tree publishing world, but the word count used to be super critical because the authors used to get paid by the word.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

I don't know if this is still true of the dead tree publishing world, but the word count used to be super critical because the authors used to get paid by the word.


Newspaper and Magazine writers have been and still are paid by the word.

I don't think book authors have ever been paid by the word, they have always been paid by royalties on book sales.

Replies:   Joe Long
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

because the authors used to get paid by the word.


I read that it's a myth that Charles Dickens was paid by the word. His stuff was published in magazines in pieces and he got paid for each piece (installment). Stephen King's "The Green Mile" was written that way to mirror Dickens. I have the novel, but it was originally published as 6 separate parts, each a story but all making up the overall story (which is what the novel is).

I think some authors were paid by the word, but for magazines.

Joe Long

@Dominions Son

Newspaper and Magazine writers have been and still are paid by the word.


I've written articles for books and websites in RL. Got paid a set fee, but was told the range of word size they expected.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I think some authors were paid by the word, but for magazines.

Anais Nin was paid by the page, but only because that was the only way she could survive as an author, writing pornography for personal collectors throughout Europe who paid her for each page she produced. :(

Those personal copies must be worth a FORTUNE now!

Dominions Son

@Joe Long

I've written articles for books and websites in RL.


Have you ever written a paid article for a print newspaper or print magazine?

Replies:   Joe Long
Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

I read that it's a myth that Charles Dickens was paid by the word.


I don't know about Dickens, but I do know most of the scifi writers of the 1920s and 1930s got paid the going industry rates for their stories and were paid by the word for what they sold to magazines and to book publishers, the only difference being the book publishers paid less by the word up front, but also paid royalties. Well, that's what several of them said when writing about their early days of writing.

Joe Long

@Dominions Son

Have you ever written a paid article for a print newspaper or print magazine?


Printed book, yes. Long time ago did handful of sports articles for printed newspapers. Paid by the piece.

Now everything is digital. Even the annual printed book I've done a couple of pieces for is going all digital.

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