Our speaker today was Jonathan Williams, a literary agent in Dublin who also used to teach a course in the Literature and Publishing programme here at NUIG.
He mentioned that “books are always dealt with in thousands of words.” In the book business, no one talks about pages – at least, not in the commission/submission stage of the process.
If a publisher wants to commission a book and approaches the agent in the search for a writer, they will talk about the project in terms of words. When hopeful authors submit their manuscripts to Mr. Williams, he prefers that the cover letter includes a note about the word count. Pages come much, much later in the process.
I have always thought in terms of word count, ever since college and up through my time as a freelance journalist and then a newspaper editor. The average news article is 300-400 words. Magazine articles run about 2,000 words. Novels are about 80,000 (although NaNoWriMo asks for 50,000).
Several of my loved ones, when hearing about my thesis, have asked “How many pages is that?” I have no idea. So based on my first essay and this words-to-pages calculator website, here is a quick break down of my assignments:
2,500 words = 10 pages double-spaced
5,000 words = 20 pages double-spaced
And my 18,000-word thesis? That’s about 75 pages.