Newsletter #4 — Presale Button
February 24, 2021
Newsletter #4 — Pre-Sale Button!
First Pre-Sale Button — I'm happy to announce that the first of the Pre-Sale buttons for The F Words is now available, this one from the publisher. https://cityoflightpublishing.com/product/the-f-words/ You can order now and receive your book when it's published.
Words and Word Counts — When a writer submits a manuscript to an editor, the writer puts a word count at the top of the title page so that editors can tell at a glance approximately how much it will cost to produce the book. More words = more pages = higher production costs.
Back in the days of typewriters, writers had different methods of figuring the word count of their manuscripts. I would choose one full page somewhere from the middle of the book, count up all the words on that page, and multiply that number by the total number of pages in the book. Usually this resulted in a word count that was within, say, 2,000 words of the actual word count. Good enough!
However, I am really glad that today's word processing software gives an exact word count. That's because, using my old count-the-words method, it would have been difficult for me to approximate the count of The F Words.
For example, page 55 of The F Words manuscript has 251 words. There are 330 total manuscript pages. Multiply those numbers and you get 82,830 — which is almost 10,000 words more than the actual word count (73,244 words).
But page 181 of the manuscript has only 186 words. Multiply that by 330 and you get 61,380 words — which is about 12,000 words less than the actual word count.
Add those two pages together (251 + 186) and you get 437 words. Divide by 2 and you get an average of 218 words per page. Multiply 218 by 330 pages and you get 71,940 words, which is definitely in the ballpark (only 1,304 fewer words than the actual count). This would have been a good enough number in the "old days" — had I been smart enough to consider the average word count of two very different pages.
I know what makes The F Words different from my other books. That is, I know what would have made it difficult for me to come up with a good approximation by counting just one page. There are many one-sentence paragraphs. There are many short texts. There are many short poems (Cole's English teacher requires him to write two f-word poems a week).
All these things help give The F Words an open look and a fast pace — and make the count-the-words-on-one-page approach fail.
So, I am very happy for word processing word counts! (And I hope I never, ever have to go back to the old method of counting words.)
Naming Cole and Felipe — My February 15, 2021 blog tells how I went about naming two of the three main characters in The F Words.