I came across this article today when clearing out some old bookmarks. I can’t take credit for writing it, but I do want to share it with you. The post is by Kimberly Martin, Jera Publishing, Feb 28, 2017.
Her list of common issues really are common. Every manuscript I have worked on originated in Word®. It’s virtually universal.
Now, there isn’t a problem with what version you use … it’s that you need to follow a protocol. And here’s where this list comes in.
Obviously, first WRITE the darn book, then worry about formatting of the Word document. I have worked with authors who have actually submitted their manuscripts with every one of these examples. I have also had authors who were more than happy to pay the extra cost for me to go through the manuscript and correct these. I don’t mind doing it, but if you are on a tight budget, you might want to do this step yourself because:
They have to be corrected.
In working with you to provide copy editing, formatting and building your book for print-on-demand (POD) and this includes eBooks, of course, I cannot get to the next step in publishing the book if these errors are still in the manuscript. The publishing software program doesn’t play nice when these formatting errors are in your book. Amazon, Lulu, Smashbooks, Ingramspark, and ePub Draft2Digital, all need clean manuscripts that follow these procedures.
And if you are doing both an eBook and POD (which I highly recommend), importing the finished Word.docx into the ePub software program first actually makes creating the print version much easier. And with the eBook we can add color images at no additional charge (you’re not printing it, remember?). And those images can be redone into b/w and resized for the print version.
I’ve included the link which shares the ways to fix the errors. Here’s the list:
- Extra spaces or tabs used to create an indent for the first line of each paragraph
- Two or more paragraph breaks between paragraphs
- Two spaces between sentences instead of one
- Manual line breaks at the end of each line of text in a paragraph
- Two line breaks inserted at the end of a paragraph instead of a paragraph break
- Using tabs at the end of a paragraph to create a new paragraph
- Creating complex tables, charts, graphs at a page size larger than your book size
- Using only a paragraph break to create a scene break between paragraphs
- A series of paragraph breaks (created by hitting the enter key) to force text onto the next page
From the article:
In his new book, “The Internet Is Not What You Think It Is,” Justin E. H. Smith, a professor of philosophy at the Université Paris Cité, argues that “the present situation is intolerable, but there is also no going back.” Too much of human experience has been flattened into a single “technological portal,” Smith writes. “The more you use the Internet, the more your individuality warps into a brand, and your subjectivity transforms into an algorithmically plottable vector of activity.”
Read on: The article in New Yorker
Just joined National Association of Independent Writers and Editors. Was about time.
Both this and the Editorial Freelancer’s Association offer members and persons looking for professional help, resources and a better understanding of how freelance editors and writers work.
Anyone who has had to contend with the learning curve of InDesign and the high cost of it, may find Affinity Publisher to be a great alternative. I have. It integrates with existing photoshop files as well and Affinity Photo is also an excellent alternative to Photoshop.
PS They don’t offer affiliate marketing. I’m just sharing … I discovered the programs when I also found out that Mac OS Systems – Catalina and Big Sur – would not be supporting the old 32-bit software anymore (These are 64-bit and work fine). And if you’re like me, and are budget minded, I didn’t want to pay Adobe high prices to rent their programs; you may want to look at these.
Affinity Publisher Review: An InDesign Alternative
This website post by Bo Bennet, PhD, Founder of eBookit, is an excellent overview of the process I will go through creating and formatting your manuscript for ePublication when I work with you in building it for distribution.
First and foremost, it is very important to understand – from an editor’s perspective – that your manuscript has to be totally reformatted. It is also helpful to consider if you are planning on doing an eBook in the beginning in addition to your print version. The reason is that it is less time consuming to set up the eBook from the original manuscript, then to take a version created for print and remake for the eBook.
Here are some things to remember when we work on creating your eBook:
- If nothing else, follow the first step in his article in creating a clean, workable manuscript. I can help you with it, but it’s a more cost effective if you follow the suggestions he makes. And remember, Office Word® is very powerful and we can do a lot with it. Mac Pages and Google Docs are alternatives.
- Images in an eBook CANNOT be placed exactly in the same position as a print version. The reason is the actual number of pages in your book, and how the book flows, is dependent upon what the reader is using to access your book. (A cellphone page is a lot smaller than a tablet, for example).
- As of this date (Feb 2021), KDP (Amazon), for example, doesn’t even allow images.
- PAGES (on Mac OS) is excellent in creating an ePub version of your book (I use it almost exclusively). There are other conversion programs but they can get “in the weeds.” None is perfect.
- Usually there are glitches and tweaks required. It will probably take longer than you think.
- The eBook cover can be the same as the print version.
- The final is a pdf.
Blast from the past
Just for fun … many of us still use quite a few of these today. (Slashes, underlines, the Paragraph symbol), the loops. However, you won’t see this too often unless you’re in journalism school or taking writing classes. (Click to enlarge).
But if you ask someone to “proof” your paper, you my see these. How many have you seen before?