You must provide an accurate word count per page or by document when you are submitting a literary project. Word-processing programs have a function that calculates the number automatically, but the results are not reliable in the publishing world. This is because these programs only count actual words, but publishers are also interested in blank spaces and the number of virtual words they could contain. For this reason, it is best to use a manual process to obtain a reliable word count.
Pick a page in the document that is filled with lines of text. This excludes the first and last page of a document or chapter in a manuscript. Count the number of lines on the page.
Pick 10 lines on a page that appear to contain the most number of words. You may also pick the lines from random pages in the document.
Count the total number of words in the 10 lines. Divide the result by 10 to find the average number of words per line.
Multiply the average number of words per line by the number of lines on a full page. This is the number of words per page. If you want to know the total word count for your document, then multiply this number by the number of pages it contains.
- "Writing a Romance Novel For Dummies"; Leslie Wainger; For Dummies, 2004
- "The Art of Romance Writing: How to Create, Write and Sell Your Contemporary Romance Novel"; Valerie Parv; Allen & Unwin, 1993
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