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Very Short Novel

awnlee jawking

(Sorry if this is posted in the wrong forum)

A newspaper review of 'Euphoria', by Heinz Helle, calls it a 'vary short novel' and 'a quick read'. I'd like to know how long it is, in words. Is there any way to get eg Amazon to cough up this information?

AJ

Ernest Bywater

this may help if you read German

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25954383-eigentlich-m-ssten-wir-tanzen

Ernest Bywater

some more links

http://books.telegraph.co.uk/Product/Heinz-Helle/Euphoria/20304121

http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/superabundance-by-heinz-helle-review-a-rather-sterile-study-in-introspection-1.2546574

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Euphoria-by-Heinz-Helle-Paperback-Book-/132081228275?hash=item1ec0a799f3

....................

wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Word_count

sets a novel at 40,000 words and a novella as being below - so it's hard to say what size it really is.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

wikipedia/Word_count

sets a novel at 40,000 words and a novella as being below - so it's hard to say what size it really is.

That runs counter to every single review of book sizes I've ever read. Typically, a novel starts at 60,000, many going much larger (mostly depending on genre). Novellas are defined as 40,000 (a full novel according to Wikipedia). With the abundance of people trying to take advantage of Amazon prime page limits, I'm sure the number of pages are now hitting all time lows, as many 'authors' are publishing novels of only 10,000 words.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Dominions Son
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


I'd like to know how long it is, in words. Is there any way to get eg Amazon to cough up this information?


Not exactly, but there is information that would let you estimate it.

If you look up the Kindle edition of a book on Amazon and scroll down to the product details, it will have the file size in KB and if there is a print edition it will have the size of the print edition in pages.

For the book you are interested in, those are: 952KB and 224 pages.

If you know the format of the print addition, it's not that hard to find information on around how many words per page. Typical paperback is 250-300 words / page.

So at 224 pages, 56K to 67K words.

The size in KB of the file can also be used to estimate word count.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Dominions Son


For the book you are interested in, those are: 952KB and 224 pages.


My GUESS is the page count is the more reliable of those two figures.

Applying a typical figure for dead tree paperbacks of about 300-400 words per page gives a word count of about 60,000 - a length that could reasonably be described as a short novel.

Applying a figure of about 200 words per KB (assuming the storage format is efficient) gives a word count of about 200,000 - definitely not a short novel.
My figure of 200 words per KB comes from this site. The general rules for contest on this site (at http://storiesonline.net/author/contest-rules.php) state:

Minimum size is 20 KB (or 4000 words)


EDIT TO ADD

To @DS
You were revising your original post as I was writing my reply.
WE AGREE ... the page count suggests about 60,000 words. ;)

awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

The newspaper once reviewed a 45,000 word story as a 'short novel' so I was anticipating something less.

Using Amazon's 'look inside' facility, I found an average of 16 lines of text per page (max 22, min 5) and a pretty consistent rate of 11 words per line. That yields an estimate of just under 40K words. The actual total might be even less because of all the crap at the beginning and the end.

My relatively small sample may not be entirely representative.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Typically, a novel starts at 60,000, many going much larger (mostly depending on genre)


As I said, CW, that's what wikipedia has it at. NaNoWriMo sets a novel at 50,000 words and up.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

couple of the links I gave had the book as being 192 pages of 138 mm x 215 mm for the print version. Losing the normal space to title copyright etc it probably comes down to 186 or so pages. With typical margins a print book of that page size with 10 point font, common for paperback books, you get around 350 words to a page which will put 186 pages 65,000 words - which is clearly a novel in anyone's terms - unless there's a hell of a lot of part pages or huge margins or large print.

Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

Applying a figure of about 200 words per KB (assuming the storage format is efficient)


A poor assumption.

Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

I'd like to know how long it is, in words


Here's a site that tries to determine the number of pages based on word count. It figures:

390 words per page (5.5" x 8.5" book)
475 words per page (6" x 9" book)

assuming:
- a standard typeface for book publishing (Garamond)
- a standard type size (11 pt)
- standard margins
- standard spacing (the first line of each paragraph is indented, and there are no blank lines between paragraphs)

So if you know the format of the book and how many pages, you can multiply the number of pages by either 390 or 475.

https://www.fionaraven.com/estimate-your-page-count/

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

Me : Applying a figure of about 200 words per KB (assuming the storage format is efficient)
You: A poor assumption.

Yet another out-of-context, pain-in-the-ass/arse, pathetic and pedantic attempted gotcha that gets it totally fucking wrong!

Anyone who reads the full context of my post will see I did not assume that. Rather I used a valid figure (if Amazon's storage were efficient) to demonstrate that it was not.

I had been polite in not pointing this out, but you were the one who made that exact same "poor assumption" when you stated:

The size in KB of the file can also be used to estimate word count.

The KB size cannot be used to estimate word count because their storage is inefficient.
Please shove that one up your ass/arse, then smoke it!

Replies:   Dominions Son
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

I found a site where he says Amazon has a new feature to give you word count. The problem is I can't find what he's referring to. This is what he says:

How to find a book's word count: Go to that book's page and scroll down to "Inside This Book." Under that heading, click "Text Stats." (It'll be a blue link.) A new window will pop up. Under "Number of," you'll see "words." That's your number!


https://alexisgrant.com/2010/01/18/word-count-with-a-little-help-from-amazon/

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Ross at Play


Anyone who reads the full context of my post will see I did not assume that. Rather I used a valid figure (if Amazon's storage were efficient) to demonstrate that it was not.

Edited:


Beyond the fact that the Kindle ebook format is not efficient, you 200 words per KB, requires an average word size of no more than 4 letters once you make allowances for spaces and punctuation. That's a tad small, don't you think?

First, assume a unicode character set (two bytes per character), to allow handling of Middle Eastern and Asian characters.

That reduces you to 100 words per KB.

Move up to an average of 6 characters per word + a space, so 7 characters per work. No we are down to just 73 words per KB

That puts us down to under 70K words even for an efficient format. Not that far off the right ball park.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

That's a tad small, don't you think?

If that is so, tell Lazeez.

I did not guarantee the information was correct. I directly quoted a source, and provided a link to that source.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Ross at Play

If that is so, tell Lazeez.

I did not guarantee the information was correct. I directly quoted a source, and provided a link to that source.


I wouldn't call the minimum size requirement for story contests a good source for this purpose.

First, assume a unicode character set (two bytes per character), to allow handling of Middle Eastern and Asian characters.

That reduces you to 100 words per KB.

Move up to an average of 6 characters per word + a space, so 7 characters per wors. Now we are down to just 73 words per KB

That puts us down to under 70K words even for an efficient format. Not that far off the right ball park.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

you 200 words per KB, requires an average word size of no more than 4 letters once you make allowances for spaces and punctuation.

You are making an assumption there that text is stored one letter or punctuation mark per byte.
It is possible to store data with a known limited character set more efficiently than that.
WRONG! AGAIN!

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Ross at Play


You are making an assumption there that text is stored one letter or punctuation mark per byte.

It is possible to store data with a known limited character set more efficiently than that.

WRONG! AGAIN!


It is possible, but highly unusual. First, The default text format on all computers is one byte per character for a raw text file which is the most efficient format you are likely to find. Secondly e-book formats typically use unicode to allow handling non english character sets.

ETA:

As I detail above, with a few more realistic assumption, you can get an estimate of word count from file size that isn't going to be off by orders of magnitude.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

It is possible, but highly unusual.

I stated my source: what is done on this site.
BYTE ME!

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

You are making an assumption there that text is stored one letter or punctuation mark per byte


Note: unless you squeeze down to 4 bit characters (2 characters per byte), no computer on the face of the earth can store more than one character per byte.

I work in IT, I am not aware of any text file format that uses 4 bit characters.

Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

I stated my source: what is done on this site.
BYTE ME!


No, that's not what's done on this site, you used the minimum story size rule for story contests which has zero to do with how stories are actually stored.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

My GUESS is the page count is the more reliable of those two figures.

Applying a typical figure for dead tree paperbacks of about 300-400 words per page gives a word count of about 60,000 - a length that could reasonably be described as a short novel.

Except ... I was just reviewing an older novel of mine, which is HUGE. Because of the high printing cost, which doesn't fare well when my ebooks sell so cheaply, I cut corners, resorting to a squint-worthy font size of 10pt (I normally use 11, though most readers my age prefer 12). Even such a small point size difference can drastically affect the total number of pages. Heck, I often adjust my margins by fractions of a inch (ex: 0.05) just to squeeze a few more words per page. By shrinking the margins and the gutter (space between the pages) I can affect overall page count, though a 10pt font is going too far, by anyone's count.

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

The actual total might be even less because of all the crap at the beginning and the end.

Depending on what's involved, the front and back matter can be fairly hefty too (my "Other Book By the Author" and "Character List" sections take up a couple full pages each), while chapters that end only a few lines into a new page can affect the overall count too, if there are a LOT of short chapters (which is why Ernest will change the closing paragraphs in his print books to restrict orphaned text).

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

As I said, CW, that's what wikipedia has it at. NaNoWriMo sets a novel at 50,000 words and up.

Romances (one of the more popular genres) edges the number down, as do porn stories (popular on Kindle Prime), while Sci-Fi and Historical dramas push it WAY up, as they dedicate a LOT of pages to world building and establishing the social mores of a particular age.

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

A poor assumption.

Authors focus on the efficiency of their words, NOT on their storage formats. Most authors have little clue the different in compression ratios, thus publishers don't bother with it.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

390 words per page (5.5" x 8.5" book)
475 words per page (6" x 9" book)

Note those are full-size books, not the paperbacks you find in most airports, department stores or main bookstore shelves. There, the page size are much smaller, as are the font sizes.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I found a site where he says Amazon has a new feature to give you word count. The problem is I can't find what he's referring to.

The guide quoted only applies to books you've purchased, not books you're checking out to determine if you want to read. Also, I'm not sure how long the feature has been included in the Kindle format, so many books might not provide it.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

The guide quoted only applies to books you've purchased, not books you're checking out to determine if you want to read.


Aha. That's weird though.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

Note those are full-size books, not the paperbacks you find in most airports


I thought those were the two common sizes for paperbacks.

The article said the 5.5x8.5 was typically fiction while the 6x9 was non-fiction. But I think I remember Ernest saying he uses 6x9 for his paperback novels.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

It is possible to store data with a known limited character set more efficiently than that.
WRONG! AGAIN!

If authors employ 'smart quotes', every single apostrophe counts for four or eight characters, as the format stores the html code (multi-character), rather than a character code (single characters only).

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Secondly e-book formats typically use unicode to allow handling non english character sets.

There's a LOT more to ebooks than just text characters. There's the CSS style information, there are the publishing marks (all multi-character commands) and then there are the Table of Contents (TOC) with a multitude of complex links to other parts of the book or to external addresses outside of the book. If you don't count those, you're missing much of the book. The figures quoted by the various 'words per page' guides are based on print books, which contain none of those features!

By the way, I have no clue how large a moderately sized TOC or CSS is.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

There's a LOT more to ebooks than just text characters.


I agree, that doesn't mean that you can't get a reasonable ballpark estimate of word count from the file size if you use reasonable assumptions.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

The article said the 5.5x8.5 was typically fiction while the 6x9 was non-fiction. But I think I remember Ernest saying he uses 6x9 for his paperback novels.

Most Indie publishers use the 6x9 size because you get no discount for smaller sized books, instead they charge you by page. Thus a 100-page 6x9 is cheaper than a 175-page 4x6 with a smaller font.

However, the mainstream publishers sell mostly the 4x6 or smaller sizes (since they can print 6 or 8 pages for every 2 pages of the larger volumes), even though they display the larger volumes on the front shelves of bookstores, which throws all your calculations off.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

As I detail above, with a few more realistic assumption, you can get an estimate of word count from file size that isn't going to be off by orders of magnitude.

You cannot help yourself, can you? You see an opportunity to post something contradicting what someone has said, and you can't resist.

It doesn't matter to you if someone was attempting to be constructive, even if they were exceedingly polite towards you.
This is how I started and finished the post I made that you somehow managed to find a nit-picking way to contradict:

My GUESS is the page count is the more reliable of those two figures.
...
To @DS ... WE AGREE ... the page count suggests about 60,000 words. ;)

WHY would anyone here even bother trying polite to you after seeing the shit you came up with responding to that.

The point the rest of my post was making was that page size was more reliable to derive an estimate - it's reasonable to assume a page size of about 300 words, but there's no way of knowing how inefficiently Amazon stores it data.

Why couldn't you attempt to be constructive, and provide some estimate for how many words per KB Amazon might be using? The answer to that is simple ... You enjoy being a pain in the ass/arse to others too much: it is you raison de'etre!

Now after being challenged you've come up with some "calculations". They are COMPLETE BULLSHIT.
It does not matter if Amazon does actually does store its data that way ... your calculations are nothing more than guesses about what they do. You have ABSOLUTELY no way of knowing of they are true or not. You have, in fact, only applied you invented, after the fact, until you got the answer you wanted!

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

You have ABSOLUTELY no way of knowing of they are true or not.


Actually, I do know for a fact that they use unicode (16 bit characters).

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

Actually, I do know for a fact that they use unicode (16 bit characters).

Which only makes you even more of a pain in the ass/arse for posting something like, "A poor assumption", instead of providing additional information that might have been helpful to others.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

I think I remember Ernest saying he uses 6x9 for his paperback novels.


I do use 6 x inch, because it's not much more than A5 while it's available world wide when A5 isn't. Also, the often cited and used Pocket of 4.25 x 6.87 is just too small a page, in my mind. This link gives you the commonly used book page sizes:

http://connect.lulu.com/t5/Product-Pricing-Information/Binding-options-and-their-page-counts/ta-p/33673

I've found the 6 x 9 inch sits nicely on the bookshelf, and looks more at home than the Pocket or digest size. It's also one of the few which is available in all binding sizes, thus no change if you want to go to hard cover.

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