The following is a brief overview of how book pages can be calculated. Fiction titles usually have a standard page of 1,500 characters (including spaces). Scientific publications often have a higher number of characters per page. The higher the number of characters per page, the more text there is on the page. In our example, we assume a standard page with a character count of 2,300 characters (including spaces).
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What is a standard page?
A standard page is a certain number of characters (including spaces) on the page of a (printed) book, magazine, etc. The standard page can be used to calculate the number of characters on the page. The price and size of a publication can be calculated on the basis of the standard page. It is important to realize that manuscript page and (printed) book page will differ in their number of characters.
What are standard pages for?
Standard pages help publishers calculate the cost of a newly planned title. A publisher’s decision on which number of characters to use for which publication is influenced by design and economic aspects. Less text per page makes the text more airy and increases reading fluency. This can be an argument for a lower character count. However, less text per page also means that more pages are needed overall: This increases the material costs, and the publication can become more expensive. Typesetters have the opportunity to find a successful balance with the choice of typeface.
How many pages will my publication have?
Each typeface has a specific run length that determines how many characters will fit per page. To calculate the page count of your publication, first calculate the character count of an average page. Important: The following is an approximate value, the exact number of pages is not certain until the text is set.
You can calculate the length of a page by counting one page from the manuscript without footnotes. It is best to print out the page! In the first line you count all characters and all spaces together. The resulting number is then multiplied by the number of lines on the page.
If the text is available digitally, you can also count the number of characters on a manuscript page directly using the word count function of the program.
Example: Calculate number of characters per manuscript page
70 characters (including spaces) x 33 lines per page
2,310 characters per page
Using the calculated number of characters per page, you can now calculate the approximate number of pages of the printed book. For this you need the information about the standard page. Our example was based on a standard page with 2,300 characters (including spaces). With this information you can calculate the factor to convert the manuscript pages into the number of (printed) pages of the publication.
Example: Calculate factor
2,310 characters per manuscript page : 2,300 characters per standard page
Factor of 1.004
In the last step you calculate the number of pages the standardized publication will have based on the calculated factor. In our example we assume 250 manuscript pages.
Example: Calculate the number of pages of the publication
250 manuscript pages x factor of 1.004
251 book pages
Finally: Each book has a title page, which shows the title and bibliographic information before the start of the actual book. About 4 more pages can be added here. Our example is therefore a publication with probably 255 pages. Illustrations additionally ensure that the publication will have more pages. The publisher is the contact person in these cases.