Preparing your manuscript

You can minimize your cost for my services by preparing your manuscript carefully before submitting it.

Whether I will be the first editor who sees your work or the last, the first question is this: Is this your best work? Have you at a minimum run a spell check? Have you read it over to yourself—preferably aloud—or had software read it aloud to you to catch garbled sentences, missed words, or general awkwardness? Have you looked up facts you’re unsure of (names, dates, places)? If you have references or citations, have you checked to ensure they are complete and accurate?

The more you do to prepare the manuscript, the lower my quote will be.

When you are ready, please submit the manuscript as a Microsoft Word document that meets as many of the following conditions as you can manage. If you don’t understand some of these requirements, that’s okay. I’ll have your back. Or you can contact me to ask about anything here that confuses you.

  • Paragraph styles and character styles applied consistently throughout, with no manual overrides for italics, bold, small caps, superscript, or other treatments that can be identified by character styles
  • A paragraph with the style “Slug” for every inserted image, this paragraph to be placed following the text paragraph with the callout or reference to the image and including the complete filename of the image as well as the edited caption for the image
  • A paragraph with the style “Directive” beginning and ending with [[double brackets]] for any special notes about the treatment of text or image
  • No comment balloons or tracked changes (all comments that must be passed forward contained in Directive paragraphs)
  • Separate named styles applied to the first paragraph in each chapter (“ChapterLede”); the first paragraph after any subheading (“Lede”); ordinary body paragraphs (“BodyText”); and all special text treatments such as extracts, bulleted lists, numbered lists, and so forth
  • Tables constructed using table tools available in Word, not with text boxes (read more about tables)
  • Sidebars, pull quotes, and other elements not intended to be part of the main text stream incorporated as regular body text with regular headings but labeled with start and end tags so they can be placed appropriately on finished pages. Do not use text boxes, shading, or outlines.

If you are contracting with me to copyedit your manuscript, I’ll take care of all of this as part of the copyediting process. If you are submitting a document that someone else has copyedited, you should point them to this page so they understand what you are asking for.

Let’s get in touch

Let me know how I can help you. Use this form for a brief note, or fill out the project questionnaire to get a quote, along with a free book publishing flowchart, a twenty dollar value.

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