Where Should You List Your Manuscript's Word Count?

There are a couple of places where your manuscript's word count needs to appear. Here they are.
Publish date:

Q: I’m ready to send out my manuscript to agents, and I’m finishing the final formatting touches. Do I include a word count on the manuscript, or will mentioning it in the query letter suffice? —Rachael A.


When submitting to agents or editors, always include a rough word count on the cover page of your manuscript (and by “rough word count,” I mean round up to the nearest thousand). It should appear in the upper right-hand corner of your cover page, across from your name and contact information, and should read About 92,000 words (or whatever your magic number is).

I also recommend including your manuscript’s word count in your query letter. Put it in the paragraph that introduces your title. For example, if I were querying with an epic novel about pink flamingos, my second or third paragraph would lead with, Pink Flamingo Dance Party is an 86,000-word novel about a pack of wild pink flamingos that …

This way the agent or publisher has a clear picture of what to expect from your work.

[Want to know the standard word counts for different genres? Here's the definitive post on word counts.]

Thanks for visiting The Writer's Dig blog. For more great writing advice, click here.



Brian A. Klems is the online editor of Writer's Digest and author of the popular gift bookOh Boy, You're Having a Girl: A Dad's Survival Guide to Raising Daughters.

Follow Brian on Twitter: @BrianKlems
Sign up for Brian's free Writer's Digest eNewsletter: WD Newsletter