Manuscript Formatting

I now also offer a manuscript formatting service.

What is that exactly? In a nutshell, it’s formatting your manuscript to the file (MS Word, typically) is ready to be uploaded directly to Amazon, Smashwords, etc and published. This does not include the production of the cover art, but does include any images included within the text.

All manuscripts should go through a 5-stage process:

  1. Writing (let’s include planning, etc in this stage, as it’s your role)
  2. Editing – by a processional.
  3. Copyediting.
  4. Proof reading.
  5. Formatting for publication. This can include formatting for a physical book or an e-book, or both.

What I offer are the technical parts of the process, which creative types often have significant problems with. Namely, stages 4 and 5.

For editing and copyediting, I recommend www.michelledunbar.co.uk, who I work with.

What Does Manuscript Formatting Cost?

For full details of my pricing, see my Pricing page.

How To Format Your Manuscript For Free

Manuscript formatting is actually a pretty straightforward process, if you have a detail-oriented, technical mindset. I considered writing up a detailed description, like I’ve done for manuscript editing, but I don’t need to, because Mark Coker from Smashwords has already done it. You’ll find his book for free on Amazon and Smashwords.

If you’re up for the challenge, I highly recommend this book. It’s very wordy, but gets the point across. Give it a try. If it’s not your thing, I’m here to help.

What Do You Get?

Manuscript formatting should be separated into 2 types, and I don’t mean physical vs. e-book.

Mostly text

Most books contain mostly text. Sometimes with the odd image and/or table, but pretty much just text, which has to be made to look pretty on the page, consistent in style and easy to read. Almost all novels and a lot of non-fiction falls into this category. If you’re publishing to Amazon as an indie author, this is probably what you want. Amazon’s self-publishing platforms (Createspace and KDP) are actually quite limited in their options and don’t allow for much fancy formatting. This is to be expected for e-books, where you can’t predict the what it will look like.

Complex layouts

Some types of books need to make regular use of images, sets of images, tables and other elements that have to appear in fixed positions, at least relevant to each other. You probably shouldn’t be trying to do this in an e-book anyway as you never know what it’ll look like to the reader.

If you need to produce a book with complex layouts, presumably to be printed, then you might want to go to a desktop publishing professional that specialises in your type/genre of book. If your needs are more general, or your budget more modest, I offer the following:

  • Manuscript formatting to paper and/or e-book files.
  • Full cooperation with you regarding the look and feel of the output.
  • Assistance choosing (free) fonts and other personalisations. Keep in mind, this only applies to printed books as e-book readers will use the reader’s choice of font.
  • Assistance setting up your front and back matter (copyright notices, contents page, etc). I’m not offering to write your blurb – you should get someone who’s read your book to do that – but in organising the ‘boilerplate’ and (self-)advertising text that you really should include.

Disclaimer

Did you notice my typo? No-one finds their own typos. It’s a (depressing) fact. Immediately after drafting this page, I showed it to a friend and editor. She pointed out my typo. Here it is, in paragraph 2:

  1. Editing – by a proCessional.

I thought it was a bit funny and ironic, so left it in. I’ve had a few other people point it out too though, so thought I should add this disclaimer. Yes, I know about my typo in my info about proofreading, and yes I left it in to see if people would find it. Let me know if you do. You’ll be one of the few. If you missed it, you might need a proofreader 😛 … Sorry 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: