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Roughly how many words on average fit on a normally margined single spaced 12pt type 8.5x11 page?

In the world of fiction (my primary venue) everything is double-spaced, to give the editor's eyes a break and also leave room for editing marks. The standard convention for a single sheet, double-spaced, 12pt type fixed-width font is roughly 250 words per page. This is the standard that the NaNoWriMo folks are using--they have stated that a 50K novel will equal roughly 200 printed pages. What that would work out to in a published book depends on factors like page size, font size, spacing, etc, so don't think that a 200-page novel will be some young reader's paperback.

Since your question was about single-spaced pages, I suppose the answer would be 500 words, but keep in mind I don't know anyone who wants to read single-spaced manuscripts.

Incidentally, word is that publishers won't look at novels less than 70K words or so. This is largely true, but not written in stone. I've seen plenty of short novels, some even written by new authors. Most, however, were written by established authors or else had proven themselves in some other way, like selling very well as a self-published title, for example.

Likewise, it's certainly possible to sell a first novel that is significantly larger, but you had better be a fine author to pull this off.

One more post on my comfort board and then I'll be off the Fool for a month. See you all on the other side.

Don't just sit there; WRITE!
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