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Do I have to mail my manuscript to you?

You will have to mail your payment before publishing can start, so you can mail the manuscript at that time. However, if you prefer to send it via file upload, that is possible: Click here for basic online upload information. We do not accept email attachments - including manuscripts.

There is a pre-existing work on the subject material I'd like to publish a book for. Is there a way to further the work done in that book, if I don't have permission from the original author (Copyright release)?

If you are working on new material to complement an original book, your  first step is to try contacting the author or their estate. You can work with them as to how much of the original content you may use in your new book. Even if you don't wish to use any of their original content, establishing a relationship will help spread the word about your project.

 
If unable to obtain Copyright release, your new book should not be presented as an update. However, new material can fully cross-reference previous works that you don't own. For instance, you add more information on "Sally" and "Jerry", who were children  in the original work. They both have families of their own now and Jerry has a new grandbaby. All the vital statistics (factual information) can be included in your new book - just no "stories" as printed in the original book. You would then make a note that these two were listed on page XX in The book. Your new material can reference many previous works in this way.

Visit our Copyright web page or the Library of Congress Copyright Office for more information on Copyright.

 
What can be done when you have text that covers more space than you want in a manuscript?
 
General space savers:
  • Change the font size - even 1 point makes a difference over hundreds of pages.
  • Change the font type: Try both serif and sans-serif, but condensed fonts generally make the most change
  • Change the outside margins (top, bottom, left/right or inside/outside)
 
More advanced-level space savers:
  • Alter line spacing (MS Word instructions follow):
  1. Double check what font size you are currently using (for use later).
  2. Highlight the text you want to "shrink".
  3. Click "format" from the pull down menus at the top.
  4. Choose "paragraph" from the list that expands - this will bring up a new dialog box.
  5. Verify you are on the "indents and spacing" tab - not the "line and page breaks" tab.
  6. Under spacing (little over half way down) you will find "line spacing" to the right - it defaults to single.
  7. Click the down arrow to the right of "single" and click "exactly".
  8. To the right of that box (At), you want to click that down arrow to choose a point size 1 point smaller than what you are using (example 12 pt text - 11 pt at). Generally no more than 2 pts smaller - or you begin to cut off sections of the top and bottom of the words.
  9. Click OK button at bottom - this will effect everything that was highlighted. If nothing is highlighted, it will only effect the line/paragraph where the cursor is currently.
For more space savings, you may be able to work with the spacing before and after - they can be set to negative numbers. This is generally not as easy to work with though for a beginner.
 
Note: When working with script or special fonts (such as brush script, comic sans, etc.) you can play with the "at" in a much larger range. Some scripts will even allow for half point increments. When in doubt, try it and then print that page out to see if all the letters print fully.

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The space I have for information in my manuscript is OK, it just is too narrow for the information layout I want to use - what next?

Consider changing the text alignment from portrait to landscape for the wide information in question. There are many ways to do this, but if you have the information already typed, the quickest may be placing it into a "table". In MS Word (may vary according to version):

If this is needed throughout the book, change the book from portrait to landscape through File-Page Setup.

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What do I do now that I have all of my data - each piece in a different file?

Place all the data into one file, or a few main sections (for large books):
  • MS Word (advanced user): Use the outline function to string independent files together.
  • MS Word (intermediate user): Go to the end of your first file and use the "insert - file" function to add all your other files: be sure to save the new file under a different name, or you will erase the first file alone.
  • MS Word (basic user):
  1. If you have any file that already has the right margins, etc. for the book project, open one up. If not, start with a blank file and set all margins, etc.
  2. "Save" (new file) or "Save As" (existing file) as file name "text". You can name this anything you want, but this example will use the name text.
  3. Open another file you want to use in the book and highlight it's entire contents.
  4. Save this highlighted block to your clipboard and close the file.
  5. In your text file, place the cursor where you want the clipboard material to go (make sure the cursor is blinking), and copy the information into the text file.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 as necessary.

Overlooked format items that can be altered or added to the text file at any time include headers, footers, and page numbers.

Why do I need my manuscript to be in a few (or single) data file, rather than (for example) one page per file?

Unless you have produced your entire manuscript from the same template, putting your data into a single file insures format, such as margins, header/footer, and page number remains the same throughout all the pages in that file/book. Additionally, if you are submitting for digital publication, this can save you service fees. If you are preparing an e-book, your readers will thank you as well.

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Can software automatically add page numbers, or do I need to type them in at the bottom of each page?

Yes! almost any program has this feature (MS Word .doc instructions follow):
  1. Have your file open - your cursor can be anywhere...
  2. Click "insert" from the pull down menus at the top.
  3. From the list that expands, click "page numbers"  - this will bring up a new window (dialog box):
  4. Looking from top/left:
    set the position Top...header or Bottom...footer
    set alignment as you prefer
    click the box beside "show number on first page" to make page 1 blank, if desired

    Click the OK button to apply.

    • To change the position and alignment, click the down button to the right of each box and click the option you want.

    Additional numbering options, such as roman numeral, etc. can be accessed by clicking the Format... button.

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This Page Last Updated: May 06, 2016

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