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Is Your Manuscript Ready?


In this video, we’ll share with you some important information that will help your book look its absolute best and ensure that its production goes as quickly and smoothly as possible. First, we want to introduce a few terms that relate directly to your manuscript: hard copy and electronic copy, file merging, and length. If you’re not familiar with all of these terms, don’t worry. We’ll go through them one at a time.

Hard Copy and Electronic Copy

The first thing we need to know about your manuscript is whether it is a hard copy or an electronic copy. A hard copy manuscript is one that is printed on paper. An electronic copy is one that has been typed and saved into a computer, where it can be put on a CD or DVD or sent over the internet. Your book will go into production a lot faster if you submit an electronic copy. We can work with manuscripts written with Microsoft Word 6.0 or higher, written on either a PC or a MAC. Unfortunately, we are unable to work with manuscripts written with Quark or PageMaker. If you have another electronic file format, contact a representative and ask about file conversion.

If you only have a hard copy of your manuscript, it must be data-entered or typed into a computer before production can begin. We offer data-entry services for an additional fee, but you’re welcome to have the manuscript data-entered wherever you like. If you are submitting your manuscript as a PDF file, there are technical specifications that it must meet before it can be published. Please contact your representative to get the specifications for your chosen book size if submitting your manuscript as a PDF.

File Merging

File merging is necessary when we receive a manuscript written in more than one file. For example, if you send each chapter of your manuscript as a separate file, we will need to put the files together before we can begin production on your book. There is a fee for file merging, and it takes a little extra time as well. For these reasons, it is best if you submit your manuscript as one continuous file.

Page count is important to note too, because it determines your book’s pricing. The higher your page count, the higher your pricing options will be. This is more of a concern with color books than it is with black and white books. If you are publishing a color children’s book, we highly recommend that you keep the page range between 24 and 480 pages in order to stay competitively priced with other books on the market.

We’ll Format Your Book

We’ll design and format your book’s interior to make it look like a professional book. We’ll take care of page margins, line spacing, the table of contents, and page numbering so you don’t have to worry about them.

You do not need to double-space your manuscript for us. This was common practice in the past to make copy-editing easier, but it’s no longer required. Single-spacing is preferred.

If your book has a Table of Contents, you do not need to include the page numbers. Once your text is placed in the final book margins, those pages will most likely change anyway. We will enter the final page numbers for you during the formatting stage.

You do not need to include page numbers or any other information in your headers or footers. Again, we will insert these during the formatting stage. If you have specific ideas about how you would like your headers or footers formatted, you can include this information in your Submission Information Form.

Even if you do these things yourself, they will need to be recreated in our design program during the formatting stage.

If you learned to type on a typewriter, using word processing software on a computer means unlearning old formatting conventions and learning new ones. Before submitting your manuscript, we highly recommend that you double-check for some common text-formatting mistakes that could delay your book’s production.

Recognising and addressing these formatting issues now will help ensure that your book’s production goes as smoothly as possible.

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