Archive for Publishing

Harlequin word counts

There’s news out that Harlequin is adjusting the word counts of some of their lines. According to the message I received, the reason they’re making the adjustment is because readers have been complaining about how hard it is to read Harlequin’s books without having to break the spines of the books to see all the text, and that some of the books have print that is just too small to read comfortably.

So, to increase the readability of their books, Harlequin is going to be changing the word counts on many of their lines.

Also reported is the news that Harlequin will begin using computer word counts to increase the accuracy and consistency of word counts in their books.

This is a significant piece of news, because the traditional methods of counting words per page (as mentioned in this forum post and in this article) give a word count that is typically higher per page than what computer word count gives. What does this really mean? It means that you might have a manuscript that is 70,000 words using the traditional word count methods but that is only 59,000 words using the word count feature of your computer.

How, you ask? Because the old method says you have a manuscript that is 280 pages long and you assume that each page (if formatted correctly) has about 250 words on it, so you have a 70,000 word manuscript.

Formatted correctly, however, many manuscripts that are heavy on dialogue and whitespace actually have less than 250 words per page. In fact, my manuscripts average 210 to 220 words per page. So my 280 page manuscript might only have 59,000 words in it. This difference in word count is fairly significant.

Here’s what I have for them now. You’ll want to double check these numbers before you make any significant changes. (I haven’t verified the source of these numbers! I’ll be sure to mention it in my blog if I hear anything further.)

Line Word Count Book Pages Manuscript Pages @ 250 Words Per Page
Desire 50,000-55,000 192 200-220
Intimate Moments 60,000-65,000 256 240-260
Special Edition 60,000-65,000 256 240-260
Bombshell 70,000-75,000 304 280-300
Love Inspired 60,000-65,000 256 240-260
Everlasting 70,000-75,000 304 280-300
American Romance 60,000-65,000 256 240-260
Blaze 60,000-65,000 256 240-260
Intrigue 60,000-65,000 256 240-260
Superromance 70,000-75,000 304 280-300
LI Suspense 60,000-65,000 256 240-260

Comments (1)

Here today, gone tomorrow publishers

I’ve received several emails lately from publishers (specifically epublishers) wanting to have their publisher sites listed on my website for writers (HEA). Many of these publishers have only one or two books in their catalogs so far. I have no way to know if they’re going to be around past next week, so I generally say no to these link requests.

But it leaves me wondering if I should pass this information on to interested writers. New markets are always of note, but what level of responsibility do I have if I spread information about a publisher and that publisher turns out to be a scam (or someone who just didn’t understand how to run a publishing business)?

I hesitate to put the information out there, even knowing that it’s not my fault if the publisher turns out to be a here-today-gone-tomorrow publisher.

Any thoughts?