Breaking a Book into Sections

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Post by ColleenMc » August 6th, 2018, 11:56 am

I see people casually stating how many words a book has and how many pages are in a section, and I’m wondering if there is a knack to that that I can learn! With the end of my current solo just over the horizon, I’m trying to decide what to tackle next. One possibility is a sort of almanac with notable events each month. I’m thinking that a section would be one year but I’m not sure if that would line up with ideal section length or not.

Thanks! You all are always so helpful here!


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Post by TriciaG » August 6th, 2018, 12:46 pm

As a general rule of thumb, I estimate that readers speak an average of 150 words per minute. You could probably take some of your recordings and determine your average reading speed based on the word counts on sections you've done already.

Recordings should be no more than 72 minutes, the length of an audio CD. Below that, you can break it up however you want, keeping in mind that listeners will get tired of hearing the LV intro every 5 minutes if you break it down that far. ;) A lot of folks seem to like sections of about 15-30 minutes.

How to get word counts:
You can copy/paste text into a word processing program to determine word counts, or I have a "bookmarklet" (a little piece of javascript code that's in a bookmark). I highlight the text on my screen and click the "WordCount" bookmark in my toolbar, and the word count pops up.

Here's the code for it, if you want to make your own bookmark. This goes in the field for the web address in a regular bookmark:

Code: Select all

Some texts do not do well at word counts. The 21st Century Policing project, selecting the text selected it in a very weird way, giving me a lot of text that I didn't want to count. It was weird. And some texts (PDFs) are images and not set up to select and copy out the text. In cases like these, the number of pages will usually be used instead.

Hope this helps!

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Post by ColleenMc » August 6th, 2018, 1:05 pm

Thanks, it does!

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