Estimating Your Page Count for Self-Publishing

Fandemonium Volume 2 is just slightly longer than Volume 1, so with the same Price Plan and same retail price, our royalty for Volume 2 is going to be just a smidge less (since printing each book is a smidge more).  I know from publishing Volume 1 that it had a “recorded” page count of 131 in our system.  Obviously, since every piece of paper has two sides, every book must have a page count that is an even number, but our page count in our system is odd as a way of indicating to our production team that the content ends on the right-hand side of the page (since the very, very last page of all our books must be blank to accommodate logistics involved in the production process).   And I know that the estimated page count of Volume 2 is 140 pages.

How did I figure out my estimated page count for my new manuscript?  By reformatting my manuscript in Word to a 6×9 trim size.  It wasn’t “format designed” per se, but it was close enough to provide me with a rough estimate of the page count once it is professionally formatted at 6 x 9.  Closely estimated page counts are helpful at this stage of the process because they allow authors to closely estimate book pricing. The closer the estimated page count it to the final page count, the closer an author’s estimated pricing is to final pricing. It’s that simple.

So after choosing your Price Plan, our website asks you to estimate the page count for your book.  There is a bunch of bold, red disclaimers on this screen that nobody reads, which basically says the pricing is ESTIMATED because, well, it is … it’s based upon an estimated page count. We won’t know the final pricing until the final page count is determined after final interior formatting.  Should the page count exactly match the figure an author enters on this screen, the pricing will be exact.    Authors sometimes put the page count of their manuscript at 8.5 x 11 into this estimated field and then are surprised when their final pricing for their 5 x 8 book is drastically different.  But, books get longer the smaller they get — fewer words to each page. Makes sense, right?

So we have to estimate your book’s printing cost based upon an estimated page count, since we haven’t actually formatted your book yet. Images, charts, lots of chapters, and other elements can drastically affect the overall length of your book.

So keep in mind that you are setting your book’s * ESTIMATED * pricing at this stage. This step isn’t terribly important now because you get a chance to make final pricing later. The important thing is to not get married to anything you see here — these are estimates. The closer your final page count is to what you enter here, the closer your estimates will be.

So, for Fandemonium Volume 2, I enter 140 into the box and click “Update.”  And we’ll set our book’s retail price, discount, and profit next…