Figuring how to convert your word count to book pages is dependent upon a number of factors. These factors are subject to your vision of your book and the printer/ebook specifications.
All of the word processing programs (Word, Page, etc.) have the ability to tell you how many words are in your manuscript. Word count as well as page can be found on the ribbon at the bottom of your page. That page count is really extraneous for our purposes for it doesn’t translate into book pages unless you are simply going to print your pages out and then bind them. That process doesn’t work for professional writers.
Word count is important in the formula that book formatters and printers use to determine page length.
How many Book Pages?
You can determine an approximate number of book pages by filling in some simple math formulas. The book pages are determined by the trim size of the book, font and typeface, margins, illustrations, and line spacing. So much of this info is still undecided until you talk to your printer/formatter. However, these formulas will give you an estimation as to the number of book pages.
Use a standard 12 point font and typeface such as Courier. For standard trim sizes of books, here are some formulas:
Trim size 6” x 9”: Divide your word count by 475 to arrive at the approximate number of pages.
EX. 47,500 words divided by 475 = 100 pages
Trim size 5.5” x 8.5”: Divide your word count by 390 to arrive at the approximate number of pages
EX. 58,500 words divided by 390 = 150 pages
Another general guideline is to assume that your book will average 300 words per page. Thus, divide your word count by 300 and you again get an approximate number of pages.
There are all kinds of ways to figure out the book pages, but these are the simplest.
Once you have a page count, you are not done. You need to allow pages for illustrations, front and back matter, and any other material which will add to the book pages. Novelists, be aware that your dialogue will add pages because of the special formatting that it requires.
Are Book Pages more important than Word Count?
For an author who will be published traditionally, word count is more important for your publisher. His staff will figure out the page count. You don’t have to worry about it.
However, if you are self-publishing and paying for everything, book pages will end up being more important than your word count. The more pages, the more expense you will have into the book.