Originally Posted by neilwilliamson
Imagine you're an editor and you look at X manuscripts per week every week of your working life. You're going to become pretty adept at converting an accurate Word wordcount into a number of pages the published book would be, once you've taken into account the book format, the house style, etc. A quick riffle through the pages to gauge the amount of dialogue - if it's pretty talky, add say ten percent. You won't even have to do the arithmetic, experience will tell you.
Which is why the Word word count (or the word count of any other word processing program) is there to give them a rough of idea going in of how long the story is, rather than how many pages it is going to fill. They can figure the latter themselves as they read.
Although the page count of the printed book can -- and sometimes is -- manipulated in various ways, as I am sure you know.