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WORDS AND WAGES

David Bruce Bozarth

Edgar Rice Burroughs was a prolific writer by any standards. Though his novels seem undersized in comparison to today's fiction authors, each contains just enough words to tell a fabulous story! The WORDS column in the chart below contains word counts (estimates) which may be ERB's or Heins'. The second word count is obtained from the Project Gutenberg etexts and arrived at using the word count function incorporated in WordPerfect 8. Checking the accuracy of WordPerfect with Microsoft Word 97 resulted in a discrepancy of less than 1%. The PENCE column contains estimated word counts submitted by Todd Pence. In years past I came up with similar numbers (average words per line times number of lines). Porges notes that ERB used that method for calculating his output when submitting it to editors. He was rather precise in those calculations using fractional averages per line (11.44, for example). The remaining column, PAID, reflects the first magazine amount paid to Ed Burroughs. These dollar amounts were obtained from a quick read through of Porges' biography. The amounts may not reflect the ultimate payment for the complete work. The Cave Girl, for example, was a two parter as was The Mad King. There are dollar amounts reported for other Tarzan texts, but the serial titles are not the same as the books. As soon as I have identified the correct title to credit, I will add these amounts later.

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WORD COUNTS FOR ERB NOVELS

BOOK TITLE YEAR HEINS PG PENCE PAID

Tarzan

Tarzan of the Apes 1914 98000 85719 92787 $700.00
Return of Tarzan 1915 86000 89571 90251 $1,000.00
Beasts of Tarzan 1916 70000 63640 65414 $2,500.00
Son of Tarzan 1917 101000 94024 93462  
Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar 1918 60000 66068 63440 $2,500.00
Jungle Tales of Tarzan 1919 60000 74346 72789 $4,200.00
Tarzan the Untamed 1920 110000 109808 106821  
Tarzan the Terrible 1921 94000 93816 88422 $3,000.00
Tarzan and the Golden Lion 1923 80000 80538 78630 $4,000.00
Tarzan and the Ant Men 1924 86000 77873 80316  
Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins 1927 21000 41750    
Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle 1928 70000 69951 71893 $5,000.00
Tarzan and the Lost Empire 1929 66000 65236 65047  
Tarzan at the Earth's Core 1930 79000 78684 79700  
Tarzan the Invincible 1931 80000 72343 72850  
Tarzan Triumphant 1932 74000 75876 76436  
Tarzan and the City of Gold 1933 65000 66433 66687  
Tarzan and the Lion Man 1934 70000 72202 75874 $10,000.00
Tarzan and the Leopard Men 1935 80000 70627 71097 $6,000.00
Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins with Jad-Bal-ja, the Golden Lion 1936 23000      
Tarzan's Quest 1936 72000 77234 81529  
Tarzan and the Forbidden City 1938 67000 65731 68083 $3,000.00
Tarzan the Magnificent 1939 83000 73652 73606  
Tarzan and the Foreign Legion 1947 80000 71062 73345  
Tarzan and the Madman 1964 60000 55561 55230  
Tarzan and the Castaways 1964 64000 36635 55175 $300.00

BARSOOM

A Princess of Mars 1917 72000 65968 67552 $400.00
The Gods of mars 1918 86000 82848 82037 $800.00
The Warlord of Mars 1919 60000 57266 57052 $1,141.00
Thuvia, Maid of Mars 1920 45000 45604 48677  
The Chessmen of Mars 1922 93000 88355 88034 $3,500.00
The Master Mind of Mars 1928 51000 54317 53543  
A Fighting Man of Mars 1931 83000 85491 84169 $8,000.00
Swords of Mars 1936 78000 80177 81282 $5,500.00
Synthetic Men of Mars 1940 70000 65577 64080 $1,200.00
Llana of Gathol 1948 82000 81999 84042 $400.60
John Carter of Mars 1964 42000 43470 42725 $400.00

VENUS

Pirates of Venus 1934 57000 60786    
Lost on Venus 1935 63000 66825    
Carson of Venus 1939 68000 68645   $3,000.00
Escape on Venus 1946 86000 83800   $1,318.48
The Wizard of Venus 1964 20000 18640    

PELLUCIDAR

At The Earth's Core 1922 37000 49633 47109 $420.00
Pellucidar 1923 61000 57297 56020  
Tanar of Pellucidar 1930 78000 76417 75057 $7,500.00
Tarzan at the Earth's Core 1930        
Back to the Stone Age 1937 80000 76826 76459 $1,500.00
Land of Terror 1944 60000 57052 56138  
Savage Pellucidar 1963 83000 77803 77656  

WESTERNS

Bandit of Hell's Bend 1925 81000 73053    
The War Chief 1927 79000 77472    
Apache Devil 1933 73000 68139   $4,400.00
Deputy Sheriff of Comanche County 1940 56000 53978    

UNRELATED

The Mucker 1921 138000 123218 125381 $1,450.00
The Girl from Hollywood 1923 67000 66760    
The Land That Time Forgot 1924 117000 111609 105290  
The Cave Girl 1925 71000 69448 71819 $600.00
The Eternal Lover (Savage) 1925 68000 68894    
The Moon Maid 1926 140000 141001 133498 $2,150.00
The Mad King 1926 93000 94217   $1,325.00
The Outlaw of Torn 1927 65000 66083   $500.00
The Monster Men 1929 59000 57857   $1,165.00
Jungle Girl (Land of Hidden Men) 1932 67000 68728   $7,000.00
Oakdale Affair 1937 42000 41998   $600.00
The Rider 1937 38000 33481   $800.00
The Lad and the Lion 1938 40000 55379    
The Lost Continent 1957 40000 37947 37751  
The Man-Eater 1957 37000 33943    
Tales of Three Planets 1964 45500 49102   $650.00
The Girl From Farris's 1965 45000 39883    
The Efficiency Expert 1966 47000 45359    
I Am A Barbarian 1967 66000 63301    
Pirate Blood 1970 40000 40498    
The Scientists Revolt 1974 22000 22738   $245.00
ESTIMATED WORD TOTAL 4990500 4877262 3434255 $98,165.08

Note: TAEC is included only once. 3Tales does not include Wizard. Beware! is substituted for Scientists Revolt (as estimate). Tarzan Twins with JBJGL is included in Tarzan Twins. Updated 2017

Sources: Irwin Porges, Henry Heins, Flem Chapman, David Bruce Bozarth, Todd Pence, Project Gutenberg, Newsgroups, and ERB's Novels.