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Word count to page

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Matching word count to page size

This is one of two page estimators. The other page estimator  

Also helpful is Cost estimating

To get an idea of what your book will look like you need to match the number of words per page on your word processing page to the finished printed page. This is an art rather than a science but here are a few tips.

Lines per page

For paperbacks you get 25-50 lines per page, with 35 being a good average. This line count includes blank lines between paragraphs as well as lines with just a single word.

Words per page

At one extreme you get large print books with 250 words on the page. Academic books might put 600 words on a page with works of reference squeezing in 1000 words. A good working average is 400.

These figures represent continuous words with no blank lines or breaks. In practice you need to subtract 15-20% from the page word total once the white space is taken into account. This gives you 200 (large print), 500 for an academic book with 350 words per paperback page as a working average.

To put these numbers in perspective, if you type with a font size of 10, you could be packing nearly 1000 words on each A4 page - which would make nearly 3 paperback pages.

All this relates to the standard paperback size book. Pages come in many sizes and it often makes sense to opt for a larger page format to reduce the print costs.

These are some examples of page count from books we publish.

How to match the page sizes

There are 2 ways:

  • The first is to adjust the white space around the text. You could set up your page to leave half the space white. This is a bad idea because the output will not feel like the finished article unless you have access to an industrial guillotine to trim the blank paper.
  • The second approach is to adjust the font size. The table below gives the page word count for relevant font sizes for a popular typeface:

Times Roman font size

10

12

14

16

20

Target words per page

1112

815

582

435

320

Lines per page (you can adjust the margins to achieve this)

60

50

43

37

33

 

How to give your file 'the book-look'

Practicalities

If you 'select all' then adjust the font size using the chart, you will discover the number of pages your book requires.

If you are planning to make an index, and plan to use your word processor, you will need to layout your document with page breaks to match the print layout.

Alternatively, having made the font size bigger or smaller to get the look and feel of the book, you may be able to use the your printer software to print two or more pages on a single A4 sheet. The output will be very close to the finished size but you may still need a guillotine to cut the pages to size.

By adjusting the margins, it is possible to set the aspect ratio (height to width) to a print page format you want.

The chart below lists the common book page size aspect ratios. (More about book sizes)

Known as Height Width Aspect ratio
B 203 127 1.59
Demy 216 140 1.54
Pinched Crown Royal 224 172 1.30
special 229 152 1.51
Royal 234 156 1.50
Crown Royal 246 186 1.32
special 280 210 1.33
A4 297 210 1.41

  Back to Getting ready   Page size  Preparing a mock-up Size matters but... making an index  make a table of contents

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