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Writing Books/based on a true story and word count


my first question is where would i or would i put that the book is based on a true story and that events and names have been changed.  also. when i do a word count i was told to mutipy 250 by the number of pages. does that even mean the dedication page.  where all it says is "for (insert name here)?

1. That information should be in the front of the book. In the manuscript, Iíd put it either on the first numbered page (the one immediately after the cover page). If you are self publishing the book, it would be appropriate to put it on the same page with the copyright, ISBN, and publishing information, which is usually on the back of the title page.

2. First understand the reason for the need for a word count. Publishers use the word count to estimate the number of pages in the published book. They want to be sure the manuscript is not too long or too short for the intended market and that their cost of printing it will be within the realm of what they are willing to spend. They are looking for a general figure, because they know their final page count depends on the font choice and page size. If the word count is off by 200 or even 500 words or so, it wonít affect the outcome or decision of a publisher. Donít worry yourself too much over accuracy.

The old formula of 250 times the page count comes from the typewriter era, though, and it is often grossly inaccurate, especially with computers that can print manuscripts in almost any size or style font. Forget the math. Almost any word processing program will give you a quick accounting of the word count, and it is accurate enough to give a publisher an idea of the length of the book. In the end, the word count should cover every word in the manuscript, including the dedication.  

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Bobbie Christmas


Book Doctor Bobbie Christmas owns Zebra Communications, a book-editing firm in metro Atlanta. She not only edits books, she also helps writers power up their prose to increase their chances of success. She is the author of Write In Style (Union Square Publishing), a creative-writing guide that won three awards.


Bobbie has spent more than 40 years in the publishing and communications industry and has run Zebra Communications, a book-editing company, since 1992. The editor of many publications and periodicals, she has worked with book publishers and trade magazine publishers as well as working in marketing communications and corporate communications.

Past president, Georgia Writers Association; past vice president, South Carolina Writers Workshop; charter/lifelong member, Florida Writers Association; Southeastern Writers Association; Atlanta Writers Club; Society for the Preservation of English Language and Literature (SPELL); International Guild of Professional Consultants

Write in Style (Union Square Publishing), A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation), A Cup of Comfort for Friends (Adams Media), A Cup of Comfort for Mothers and Sons (Adams Media), Haunted Engounters (Atriad Press), Remembering Woolworth's (St. Martin's Press), First-Time Home Buyer magazine, HomeBusiness Journal, Apparel Industry Magazine, Edge Magazine, Atlanta Jewish Times, Time Travel Australia, American Writers Review, Points North, That's Entertainment, Atlanta Parent, Agnes Scott Alumnae Magazine, etc.

Journalism: University of South Carolina plus four decades of working in publishing, marketing, communications, advertising, newspaper and magazine production, book publishing, etc.

Awards and Honors
First Place, nonfiction, Georgia Writers Annual Contest, 2005; First Place, education, Royal Palm Literary Award, 2004; Best in Division, Georgia Author of the Year Awards, 2005; Finalist, Best Books 2005, USA BookNews Third Place, nonfiction, Georgia Writers, 1999; Nominated for Georgia Author of the Year, 1998; plus many other awards

Past/Present Clients
Capital Books, Sourcebooks, Olin Frederick, The Writer's Machine, Russell Dean & Company, Outskirts Press, and hundreds of writers.

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