“Word count” is one of those specialized phrases, particular to an industry. Like “lineal foot” or “kilowatt hour,” it doesn’t mean much to people who aren’t working in that particular metric.
I’m constantly talking to prospective authors about their books in terms of how many words it’ll be. It’s fun to throw around those big numbers: fifty thousand! Seventy thousand!
“Yes,” they usually say, “but what is that in pages?”
The standard calculation is 250 words per page, but it varies wildly. Writing is measured in words, that’s just how it’s done. It’s an industry term.
Lots of people don’t think of writing as the type of skill that needs much specific terminology. People think it’s all about writing beautifully, turning phrases that lilt magnificently, enchanting readers with the magic of language.
But when I sit down to build a book, I’m not sitting down to do beautiful writing; I’m sitting down to make a strategic plan.
Anyway, that’s my word count for the day. Just hit five thousand! Time to call it a night.