Or working out how long an on-spec article should be.
One of the comments left on a previous post asked what the best way to gauge how long an article in a magazine or newspaper is. If pitching to a new publication, this is important – there’s no point sending them something way over or way under what they usually take.
Ask the editor outright
This is something I’m pretty hopeless at. I’ll usually just ask the editor outright, but obviously this doesn’t work if sending an article on spec. After a while, however, you do start to develop the knack of guessing a ballpark figure.
The tedious process of counting
But if you’re not sure that you’ve developed that knack, there’s nothing else for it but to count. It’s a tedious process, but it’s the only way you’ll know for sure. Of course, if you don’t fancy counting word by word, it’s possible to get a reasonable estimate by counting the number of lines and multiplying by a rough average of words per line.
And if the columns are of roughly the same length, multiply average number of words per line by average number of rows per column by number of columns.
However, I’m more than open to better suggestions on this one. So if any readers have better techniques to suggest, leave a comment below.