Page Count Confusion

This is in the realm of a really dumb question but here goes.

Trying to work out the page count of my book has me really confused. I have my ebook cover already but want to get a cover done for a paperback as well. One of the required bits of information is the page count. Depending on which format I choose to compile the page count varies so wildly that I don’t know what to put it as.

The word count is telling me that it is 105k words. When I print, it comes out as anything from 279 pages to 400 odd.

The Stats box in Scrivener says that its 276 pages (paperback) and 350 pages (printed)

If I open the .doc file in Vellum under the print version, it shows me 402 pages… so confused… :confused:

How the heck do I answer that question about how many pages it is to get my cover done?

Never mind I’ll use Vellum. lol

The page count depends on:

  • The size of the page
  • Font size
  • Line spacing
  • Layout details like padding at the start of a chapter, always starting on a right-hand page, etc.

All of which can change depending on your Compile settings.

So yes, having the page count vary wildly depending on format is completely normal and expected.

Commercial publishers run into this, too. FWIW, what they do is estimate based on word count, commission a slightly larger cover than needed, and trim it down. If you’re doing your own cover art, never ever put critical information near the edges.


Thanks for the reply Katherine! I figured it was to do with all those factors. Just being a total newbie to all this, I just didn’t know what page count I should give the cover artist since they were so wildly different… lmao.

I know it’s not the programs fault but me not understanding how to get the information they request. All good.

The cover artist needs the final published page count, as that will define the width of the spine and therefore how big the image needs to be.

Your printer should have a spec sheet with this information. Something like “for a book with page count in [range], make the image [size] with a trim size of [size].” (The trim size specifies that fraction of the cover that might be trimmed away, and therefore shouldn’t be critical to the image.)

In this particular case, because the difference was so big, I suspect it was due to different line spacings being used by different calculations.