As I mentioned in my last post, I am helping Cindy Bradford get her first book, Keeping Faith, published. I guess I’m probably prejudiced but I really do like it. It is an easy read, the characters are defined so that I can picture them and the story is unpredictable. It certainly made the editing process more enjoyable.
Things we needed to think about included:
- Properly formatting the Word manuscript. You must be very careful about using spaces and hard returns to format the text. Because these words will be put on different size paper, spaces and returns will not translate very well. Instead use Word’s own formatting with tabs, centering, page breaks, etc. Tip: Show formatting symbols by clicking the ¶ icon to visually see extra spaces, hard returns or other inadvertent formatting.
- Chapter titles, page numbers, justification. Where do all these information items go on each page? Top, bottom, right side, left side, middle. Do you justify the text or not? Do you hyphenate words or not?
- Fonts. Not only do you need to consider font size, but also a font type that will be easy to read and present a look and feel to go along with your subject matter.
- Paper. White or off-white. Hmmmm.
- Back cover text and author bio. We got 250 words for the back cover but had to pare it down to 1,000 characters for a marketing description elsewhere and then 100 characters for another. Can you describe your book in one sentence?
I really appreciate the work professional editors do. It’s like many other things…it can look easy from the outside. If you don’t have the budget for a professional editor (count on roughly 2 cents per word), I recommend having several friends read it and mark misspellings, grammar errors, punctuation errors and sentences that don’t make sense or assume too much. Everyone will find different things.
After several days of editing, reviewing, re-reading, and editing again, you just have to draw the line and say, “This is it!” You will never be 100% sure it is ready, so just go with it. That’s where we were today and when I hit the upload button, maybe you could hear the collective sigh of relief.
We’re now in the design review stage. Stay tuned….