For the new author, sending off your first manuscript to the publisher is a momentous occasion and scary as heck. Will they like it? What if they hate it and say the book is not good enough. What if they reject it and me? But what if someone says, 'Yes'? That begins the tumultuous journey through publishing.
What I do before submission...
1. Run my manuscript 100 ways to Sunday through edits and spell check and grammar checkers. Re-read it printed as well as on a screen, and my trick is to send it up to my Kindle and read it. This shows me quickly if I have errors or oddness about the formatting. If you have a knowledgeable reader/editor get their help and input too. I cannot tell you how many incidences I have found reading E-books and finding a mess of errors or weird edits. Face it, no one wants to read a mess.
2. Look at your manuscript with a critical eye: for odd spacing, punctuation (missing or misplaced), quote marks, etc. Check formatting and justification (full is best to read) other items might need to be centered on the page.
4. Check for consistency in formatting that all paragraphs are indented the same. That the same fonts are used, or if you have styles particular to your work, that they are consistent. Use fonts that are easy to read, especially if this book will also be an e-book format. Many E-readers make a mess of odd fonts, and there might be extra work to make it the same in all formats. This is where you get the fun of setting up a style page template in Word or others like WordPerfect, so that everything is properly transferred in publishing and to e-books.
5. Check for any meta data that needs to be in the front and back of your book, ie. dedications, websites, author's page, acknowledgements, bibliography, afterword, index, whatever is appropriate for your work.
6. Make sure you have copyright information. Some publishers will automatically supply this as they get ready to print and then file your copy. Choose a publisher that helps with this process. If not, you must file for your ISBN number, copyright info to the Library of Congress. Isn't that cool? Your books will be a part of the Library of Congress! It takes a while to get the certificate. But when you receive that letter, it is an exciting feeling! You are a part of history now! Also make sure you have rights to photos or external material to republish. Or give credit to the photos, graphs, maps, quotes, whatever you have, as well as to the artists if you have an illustrated or designed book.
8.Compile your manuscript into an orderly way. Sure that your book is ready to go. If you have graphics, make sure they are denoted in the manuscript per the publisher's preferences. And you submit the images or files.
9. Take a last look at the corrected manuscript, make sure the chapters or table of contents are in order and match your book. You won't need to show page numbers because when it is printed the pages will be different and that is a feature the publisher will do.
10. Send it up, then do not agonize or chew off your nails in baited anticipation. After a couple of days I call the company to make sure they got my manuscript. Most submissions are now done via an online link and you may have an agent or publishing rep that is assigned right away. Make them your best friend and keep in touch for the duration of this next and strange trip!
We'll address some more concerns as time goes by. Happy publishing.
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