Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A Little Lunch-Time Inside Baseball

Anna Louise Genoese has posted a detailed explanation (originally by Teresa Nielsen Hayden) of how to do a real character count on a manuscript, for the benefit of those of you who aren't doing this all of the freaking time already.

I'm always fascinated by publishing minutiae, and desperately want to know how other people are doing the things I do, so this was quite interesting. (I was reminded that my cast-offs tend to be very half-assed, but they're generally good enough for what I need them to do.)

And, for those of you in the business, I'll tell you the secret SFBC numbers, for your amazement. If you've ever wondered how we do so many omnibuses, and just plain big fat books, here's how: Our standard character count for one page of an A-sized book (five and a half inches by eight and a quarter) is 2665. And the character count for a B-sized book page (six and an eighth by nine and a quarter) is 3300. Lots of words on those pages, you betcha.

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