A page count is the total number of pages in a book, including front and back matter, but not any blank pages. The page count is an important factor in the cost of printing a book. It is also a consideration in the design of the book, particularly in the choice of paper stock.
Printing costs are generally calculated on a per-page basis, so a book with a higher page count will be more expensive to print than a book with a lower page count. The page count is also a factor in design because more pages means more space for text and images, and a larger book will require more pages to be printed on a printing press.
The page count can also be a consideration for readers. A book with a higher page count will take longer to read than a book with a lower page count. For some readers, a higher page count can be seen as a positive, as it indicates a more substantial book. For others, a higher page count can be seen as a negative, as it may indicate a book that is too long or dense.
Publishers often use page counts as a way to gauge the length of a book. For example, a standard novel is usually between 80,000 and 100,000 words, which is about 300 to 400 pages. A shorter book, such as a novella, is typically between 20,000 and 50,000 words, which is about 100 to 200 pages. A longer book, such as an epic novel, can be upwards of 100,000 words, which is 400 pages or more.
Ultimately, the decision of how many pages to include in a book is up to the author and the publisher. There are no hard and fast rules, and the page count will vary depending on the genre, the style, and the audience of the book.