Should the factual back matter and references be included in the word count when I submit my picture book manuscript to editors?
Count on Me
Dear Count on Me…
I’m a fan of back matter. Bonus goodies like timelines, activities, and “More About ___” can truly enrich a book. I’m also a fan of separating the back matter word count from the main text in order to give the editor a heads up regarding the structure and balance of the project. A common way to handle that on the manuscript is to list the overall word count and then break that down in parentheses: 850 words (Main text 500, Back matter 350). Some people skip the combined number and just list the two parts. Include your references in the back matter count.