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 original post is by Kimberly Martin, Jera Publishing, February 28, 2017. It is included at the bottom of this post.
Her list of common issues really is common.
How many of these errors are in your manuscript?
- Extra spaces or tabs are 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, and 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
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, congratulations on writing your manuscript. But you really will do yourself a favor if you learn to set up your manuscript correctly from the beginning. Then, you can write to your heart’s content.
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; after all, it’s a service I offer, but if you are on a tight budget, the fastest way to bust that budget is to leave these errors for me to fix.
#1 Bottom line: 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 first step in publishing the book if these errors are still in the manuscript. Publishing software programs don’t play nice when these formatting errors are in your book. Amazon, Lulu, Smashbooks, Ingramspark, and ePub Draft2Digital, et al., 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.
Plus, with the eBook, we can add color images at no additional charge (you’re not printing it, remember?) Those images can be redone into b/w and resized for the print version, so it is imperative to have a clean Word.docx prior to doing any additional embellishments, such as images or graphics.
I’ve included the link below, which shares the ways to fix the errors. As I say, I can do it, but if you want to save time and money, here’s what needs to be done and how you can do it. Here’s the list: