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August 2012

Book1Blog Welcomes Bobbi Linkemer

We are extremely pleased and feel very fortunate to announce that Bobbi Linkemer is joining Book1Blog as a contributing author to our blog posts. Bobbi is an accomplished ghostwriter, book writing coach and editor; and is the author of 16 books, including a step-by-step workbook on How to Write a Nonfiction Book: From planning to promotion (now in its seventh edition).

With over 40 years experience in the industry, her knowledge and experience regarding book writing will translate into some very informative posts. Many of her previous articles have appeared in corporate and university publications, trade and national business press. In addition, she has been the owner of a creative consulting firm for the past 20 years.

Bobbi's first post will appear next week and is titled, "Five Mistakes New Authors Often Make." We are sure you will find this post a thought-provoker, so don't miss it.

Bobbi, welcome to Book1Blog. We are delighted to have you as part of our growing family of book writing and coaching professionals.

 


How to Determine the Length of Your Book

We live in an age of numbers. And one of the numbers you will want to determine early in your book writing project is approximately how big your book is going to be. Knowing this is important for a couple of reasons.

  1. If you only have enough money to publish a book of about 125 pages and your estimate adds up to 250 pages, you're in financial hot water before you start.
  2. It's one of the questions a printer will ask you when you request a price quote.

The following example provides some tips on how to determine how many pages your book will have.

Assume that the draft of your manuscript is 285 pages long and double spaced. You do a little preliminary scouting in a bookstore to find an attractive book to use as a model and decide on a page size, text image size, type size, etc. In most cases, one finished 6" x 9" book page equals about one and one-fourth pages (1.25) of a double-spaced manuscript if done in 12-point Times Roman with 1-inch margins.

With this information computing the text pages in your book is a snap. Divide your total manuscript pages of 285 by the 1.25 conversion ration. The result indicates you will have 228 typeset text pages in your book.

However, to accurately estimate the total number of pages your book will have, you must take into consideration several other elements that make up a complete book.

  • Pages that appear before the actual text begins are called front matter and can include a title page, acknowledgements, table of contents, and preface or introduction pages. Let's assume your front matter consists of eight pages.
  • Pages after the text pages are called back matter and can include an index, author bio page and an order form page. Let's assume your back matter consists of twelve pages.
  • In good design, each chapter heading will take up about one-third of a page. Therefore, a 12-chapter book will consume four additional pages.
  • For optimum design, you will want each chapter to start on a recto (right-hand) page. Figure half the chapters will fall wrong, so allow for a blank verso (left-hand page) for these. Result is six additional pages.
  • Will there be any interior artwork, photographs, tables, charts or graphs. If so, this will also add pages to your book.

Here's how our example breaks down: 228 text, 8 front matter, 4 chapter headings, 6 recto pages, 2 interior artwork, 12 backmatter, for a grand total of 260 pages.

Your book has significantly grown, but you now have a much better idea as to what the size of your finished book will be.

[This post was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing, 5th Edition, co-authored by Marilyn Ross and Sue Collier.]


Does Your Book Writing Need an "Accountability Partner?"

A number of writers find that having an "accountability partner" can be very instrumental in helping them complete their book writing project in a timely fashion. Some even admit, if they did not have an accountability partner, their book would never be finished. So just what is an accountability partner?

Simply put, it is someone who will support, nudge, even nag you into completing a difficult project. Accountability partners can be used effectively in everything from weight loss to writing your book.

The relationship works best if each person has the opportunity to be both the nagged and the nagger. A one-way deal is much harder to maintain. Most importantly, make sure that you and the partner you choose have some clear rules about the structure and type of nagging that will occur. For example, communicating weekly, checking on progress, help when the other person is stuck and generally being that combination of support and irritation - all aimed at getting the project completed.

If you want to finish your book, find an accountability partner. It works. When you are having a difficult day, knowing you have someone to call who will support you is one of the best ways to overcome your writer's block

So who will be your accountability partner for your book? Find the right person, then set a regular time and day to check in with each other by phone, email or in person. It can be once a week, once a month or more often, depending on both of your needs and schedules. Making a commitment to another person is also one of the best ways to get past the "I just really don't feel like sitting down to write today" type of feeling.

[This post was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from Finish Your Book, co-authored by Karen Hodges Miller and Lorette Pruden, Ph.D.]