My question is: For a non-fiction book proposal,(1) is it expected that the book's projected length is included in the book specs section? (2) If so, is there more than one way to express a book's length?
My problem is, that if an estimated word count is required, my query will boil down to: " ... a relaxed, but succinct, refresher on fractions for teenagers and adults who need to know how-to for a next step in their lives ... of 513972 words." Word counting software counts each number and symbol as a word. e.g. 3 x 2 = 6 is five words.
Is there another way I can describe the length? Should I just leave it out? Put size as a comp? Is there a standard for this kind of thing? It's definitely not a textbook. I do have a pretty good idea of the size of the book but no idea what I should say about it.
(1) yes. The proposed size of the book is included in a section called Book Specs and you're right, it usually means word count.
(2) yes. Not all books are about words. And yours is a classic example.
When you don't fit the mold, the trick is to go find books like yours, in this case ones that include math, numbers, or figures like graphs.
Here's one that I love love love: Two Trains Leave Paris
Then count up the PAGES of content.
The good news is that agents and editors are looking for a general idea, not a specific number.
Is it going to be 50 or 500 pages is the question we're asking, not is it 87 or 88 pages.