View Full Version : Do you include references, citations or end notes in word count?

Sohia Rose
08-20-2007, 06:12 PM
Do you include your references, citations or end notes in your word count?

Also, where do you put your references? End of chapter or end of book? Iíve seen it done both ways.

08-20-2007, 07:03 PM
Generally speaking, if you know up front that you're being published, you will include your endnotes, biblio and so on in the word count, because your editor/publisher needs that information to determine length and page count. I made the mistake on my early drafts of not including them in my initial counts, and when my editor made me aware of it, adding them in threw me over my targeted word count! Ouch.

If the question, however, is to count endnotes, etc., in the wordcount when you submit sample chapters, it's probably still best to include them in your count -- or, at the very least, tell your agent/editor/whoever that it's "11,000 words, not including reference materials." For sample chapters, it's not likely to be a huge issue, because you're not yet worrying about page counts. But others may disagree.

Finally, on end of chapter versus end of book, that will also likely depend on the style your editor likes. I'm an end-of-the-book kinda guy myself, and will always default to that format. However, the format can be adjusted to fit the tone of the book. References at the end of each chapter fits better with a more "academic" work, while endnotes work better in a narrative, when you don't want to disrupt the flow at the end of each chapter with a slew of references.

Just my experience -- but I struggled with this issue as well!

Tish Davidson
08-21-2007, 08:12 PM
One way to do it is to list the word count for frontmatter (TOC and content) and a separate word count for backmatter (the stuff you asked about)