90,000 Words and 300 Pages

As of this morning, I am 300 pages into the new book, The Hunted Angel. That equates to 90,000 words. As I type this, I am slightly over that figure – 90,086, to be precise. With what I have left mapped out in my head, there should be about another 30,000 to go before I can begin editing the completed manuscript.

One pleasant side effect of the format that I use to create a book is that the number of pages in the manuscript equates closely to the number of pages in the published work., You might think that this would be obvious, but it is not so. Everywhere except the USA, computers are standardised on A4 as their default paper size (the US defaults to the slightly squarer US Standard Letter). Being British, I therefore use A4 for my manuscript. I set a margin of one inch (2.54cm) on all four sides and I write in double-spaced 12-point Arial. Double-spacing means that the word processor inserts gaps between all the lines, which limits them to just 25 per page. Arial is a typeface, often (incorrectly) referred to a font. Arial is MicroSoft’s version of the international standard sans-serif typeface, Helvetica. 12-point refers to the physical size of each character. I choose this combination because it makes the text extremely clear and easy to read, as well as leaving space for me to add annotations or corrections between the lines when editing. The text is also left-aligned, meaning that the right margin is left ragged.

That is completely different from how the book will look when published. The Kindle edition will be in single-spaced Bookerly, which the reader can swap for another font if they wish. The print edition will use 6″x9″ paper and be single-spaced 12-point Palatino. Both editions will be fully-justified, meaning that both left and right margins will be straight. With the two layouts being so radically different, you might think that they would produce completely different page totals, but they don’t. That is a coincidence, really, but a very useful one. Both layouts produce an average of roughly 300 words per page, so the actual page count is very similar.

Overall, I think I will be looking at a word count of around 120,000 by the time it is finished, which equates to approximately 400 pages.


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