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Old 06-25-2019, 11:46 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrustratedReader View Post
The main problem with ebooks is Amazon. They insist on listing a meaningless page count.
I've started putting the approximate main text word count in the extended 'blurbs' and I put it on the copyright page.
Oh, c'mon. That's how books were sold for ages--you never walked into a DT bookstore and saw some sign saying "get Dan Brown's latest bestseller, 120K words!" No, you just picked up a book and eyeballed it or flipped to the end and saw the page count.

What Amazon's doing is no real difference. Hell, their "page counts" for eBooks are probably more accurate than print, as they use characters to calculate locations and thence pages.

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Old 06-25-2019, 12:26 PM   #32
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And it was always evil. Only word counts count.
Actually I don't that much care about page or word count except to know if it's a short, novella or book.

Amazon's page count is meaningless to the general public.
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Old 06-25-2019, 01:13 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrustratedReader View Post
And it was always evil. Only word counts count.
Actually I don't that much care about page or word count except to know if it's a short, novella or book.

Amazon's page count is meaningless to the general public.
"It was always evil"? Seriously?

Right, booksellers have been using page counts since the dawn of time, and you've decided it's "evil." It's ridiculous, because the BOOKSELLER doesn't know, now, does it? Amazon doesn't KNOW the word count in a paperback. Or a hardcover. Neither does B&N, or any other bookseller, online or otherwise.

I suggest you take your suggestions to the publishers, because it is they who would have to provide this information to the bookstores, not the bookstore's job to provide it to you.

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Old 06-25-2019, 04:07 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrustratedReader View Post
And it was always evil. Only word counts count.
I really don’t think that suggesting that listing the number of pages in a book is done for malign purposes is going to persuade anyone, unless you provide some evidence to support the assertion.
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Old 06-25-2019, 04:23 PM   #35
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Yes, page counts can be inflated by use of large margins, font size, wide spacing, etc. and an ebook won't have the same page count as a paper version of the same book. Still, if a store says a paper version of a book is 60, 300, or 1500 pages, that gives me as a potential buyer at least a ball park idea whether it's a novella, regular novel, or the next War & Peace

Not that I would object if they also listed word counts.
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Old 06-25-2019, 05:11 PM   #36
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I would suggest that the reason that word count doesn't appear on Amazon (and others) is because there's no field for it on the software that produces the website.

I've been in those website design meetings. So. Many. Times.

"How about a field for word count?"
"No one would ever want that." said the committee member who'd never read a book.
"You can't add a new field now. My design would be ruined!" said the designer, clutching his pearls.
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Old 06-25-2019, 05:14 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skb View Post
I would suggest that the reason that word count doesn't appear on Amazon (and others) is because there's no field for it on the software that produces the website.

I've been in those website design meetings. So. Many. Times.

"How about a field for word count?"
"No one would ever want that." said the committee member who'd never read a book.
"You can't add a new field now. My design would be ruined!" said the designer, clutching his pearls.
@Skb:

For all the books from Random House, etc. how would they even know that figure? It's one thing to talk about books produced by Amazon, via the uploading of a Word file, but what about all the others? What's Random House's upside in providing that info?

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Old 06-26-2019, 07:06 PM   #38
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Well, I was sort of half joking (but I have been in those meetings - and the subsequent meetings to discuss how the field can be retrofitted into the coding/design. Good times).

Yes, retrospectively, it would be useless or pointless. But for new works it could be thing. Whether it's a good thing or not, I have no idea. But you can bet your boots someone suggested it, just after someone else said "what about page count?" - there followed an offtopic argument way longer than the subject warranted.

Thank goodness I'm retired. Also, Norm in Accounting is good with numbers...he could do it in his "spare time".

Last edited by skb; 06-26-2019 at 07:07 PM. Reason: Poor Norm. What a life.
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Old 06-26-2019, 07:31 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skb View Post
Well, I was sort of half joking (but I have been in those meetings - and the subsequent meetings to discuss how the field can be retrofitted into the coding/design. Good times).

Yes, retrospectively, it would be useless or pointless. But for new works it could be thing. Whether it's a good thing or not, I have no idea. But you can bet your boots someone suggested it, just after someone else said "what about page count?" - there followed an offtopic argument way longer than the subject warranted.

Thank goodness I'm retired. Also, Norm in Accounting is good with numbers...he could do it in his "spare time".
I'll bet you're right, in the last 5-10 years. Before that...probably not so much. And yes, I nearly died laughing over "Old Norm in accounting" and his "spare time." Who here hasn't heard that one?

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Old 07-06-2019, 11:26 PM   #40
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thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rellwood View Post
Hi there,

I just need to get this out there because I am a bit heated.

When you publish an e-book and there is a page number listed, please - please- consider your actual word count before listing the page count.

I am very disappointed to learn that 7 books I just purchased at $3.99 were listed as being anywhere from 265 and 302 pages are actually averaging 60,000 words.

If I had know they were as short as they were, I would have waited until the author compiled the books into the inevitable anthology they would become. Instead I purchased them on the basis that they were longer, and therefore would be more likely to be standalones in a series and not serials.

Thanks!
Thank you for this advice.
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Old 07-06-2019, 11:37 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pulpmeister View Post
Short stories are rubbery when it comes to word count, as there is less room to maneouvre.

10,000 words or fewer is normally thought of as a short story; then there's a wide grey area and you have the novelette, or novella (both words diminutives of "novel") of 20,000-40,000 or a bit more, and then you blur into novels. But there are no hard-and-fast boundaries.

It was quite common in the sf and other magazines of the 40s and 50s to have a cover brag: "Complete full length novel"; but it was maybe 20-25,000 words.

W Somerset Maugham published "Up at the Villa" as a book in 1953, which ran to 30,000 words. He described it as a "novelette". I guess that's a professional's opinion!
The OP seemed to think that 60K was a short story, but that's a full-length novel in any genre, even fantasy which tends to run longer. We've all seen the SFWA figures and a novella is 15-17K words. 60K isn't remotely a short story or even a novella or short novel.

I'd say that half the books that I see at my shop are between 60-70K words. What is more interesting, to me, is that fully 20% or more are now much, MUCH shorter, in that blurry 40-45K word count range. Now, buying a "full-length novel" of 40-45K would probably irritate me. To me, that's not a full-length book; not enough space for decent subplots, mirrored themes, etc. That's even hard to do at 60K; really, from what I see, it takes about 80K to really get good subplotting and depth. Doesn't mean I won't read a good potato chip book, of course; (like those "Tome of Bill" Vampire books--funny as hell) just that I want to know what I'm getting, when I get it.

I just wouldn't say that a 60K book is anything less than a novel. I think that's giving short shrift to it.

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Old 12-04-2019, 11:59 PM   #42
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Just to confuse the issue still further, here are some authentic word counts I have dredged up, all from well-known authors:

Get Shorty (Elmore Leonard): 80,000
Lassie Come-Home (Eric Knight): 55,000
Captain Blood (Rafael Sabatini): 114,000
Shane (Jack Schaefer): 45,000
The Nonesuch (Georgette Heyer): 105,000
A Certain Smile (Françoise Sagan): 31,000
The Executioners, aka Cape Fear (John D MacDonald): 55,000
Beau Geste (P C Wren): 139,000
The Scarlet Pimpernel (Baroness Orczy): 84,000
The Toff and the Stolen Tresses (John Creasey): 55,000
Going Postal (Terry Pratchett): 116,000
The Stars are Dark (Peter Cheyney): 76,000
Lady Chatterly's Lover (D H Lawrence): 117,000
Skylark 3 (E E [Doc] Smith): 83,000
Cakes and Ale (Somerset Maugham): 70,000
Leave it to Psmith (P G Wodehouse): 88,000
The Saint in New York (Leslie Charteris): 72,000
Treasure of the Sierra Madre (B Traven): 112,000
You Only Live Twice (Ian Fleming): 66,000
Unreliable Memoirs (Clive James): 68,000
The Fabulous Riverboat (Philip José Farmer): 85,000
Maigret and the Killer (Georges Simenon): 42,000
The Case of the Footloose Doll (Erle Stanley Gardner): 55,000
Nature Girl (Carl Hiaasen): 95,000
Flying Finish (Dick Francis): 80,000
Farewell My Lovely (Raymond Chandler): 81,000
Cannery Row (John Steinbeck): 50,000
Raise the Titanic! (Clive Cussler): 110,000

Last edited by Pulpmeister; 12-05-2019 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 12-06-2019, 08:16 AM   #43
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Checking now, my last ebook published is listed on Amazon at 560 pages. That is about what the actual print edition is (566 pages). So, I am not sure what the issue is. Other than the fact that as an author I have no control over what Amazon does or reports. 560 pages is remarkably accurate all things considered.
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Old 12-06-2019, 08:37 AM   #44
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Hi Vincent, I wondered if your last post was an anomaly or the first of many. Nice to see you back again.

I thought Amazon explicitly used the print edition page count where available; I don't know what they do if there is no print edition, or if there are multiple print editions. It's what they appeared to do with my books - and note that my print books are done through Lightning Source (Ingram) not Amazon. The Kobo page counts are significantly higher, I think because my print edition uses a relatively small font.

Last edited by gmw; 12-06-2019 at 08:50 AM. Reason: Correction
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Old 12-06-2019, 08:47 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
I thought Amazon explicitly used the print edition page count where available; I don't know what they do if there is no print edition, or if there are multiple print editions. It's what they appeared to do with my books - and note that my print books are done through Lightning Source (Ingram) not Amazon. The page ADE/Kobo page counts are significantly higher, I think because my print edition uses a relatively small font.
Both my paperback and hardcover for the book mentioned have 566 pages, and both are on Ingram. So not sure what that means. But there you have it
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