Is Your Manuscript Ready?
Hi. And welcome to Xlibris. We are pleased you’ve chosen us as your publisher and we look forward to receiving your manuscript so that we can begin working on your new book. In this video, we’ll share some important information that will help your book look its absolute best and ensure that its production goes as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Is Your Manuscript Hard Copy or Electronic Copy?
The first thing we need to know about your manuscript is whether it’s a hard copy or an electronic copy. A hard copy manuscript is one that has been printed on paper. An electronic or digital copy is one that has been typed and saved into a computer where it can be transferred to a CD or DVD, or sent via the internet. Your book will go into production much faster if you submit an electronic copy. We can accept manuscripts written with Microsoft Word 6.0 or higher on either a PC or MAC. If you’ve written your manuscript using other software, contact a representative and ask about file conversion formats.
A Hard Copy Manuscript Will Require Data Entry
If you have only a hard copy of your manuscript, it will need to be data entered or typed into a computer before we initiate production. We offer data entry services for an additional fee, but you’re welcome to have your manuscript data entered wherever you’d like. Please note that if Xlibris performs the data entry, it will need to be completed before your book can enter production.
Your Manuscript Needs to Be One, Continuous File
File merging is necessary when we receive a manuscript from more than one file. For example, if you send each chapter of your manuscript as a separate file, we will need to put the files together before we can begin production of your book, and it takes a little extra time as well. For these reasons, it is best if you submit your manuscript as one continuous file. If you need help doing this, watch our video tutorial on File Merging.
Page Count Minimums and Maximums
We can publish books of nearly any length but our printer does have some page minimums and maximums. Our 6 by 9 black and white paperback books can be between 48 and 740 pages. Our 6 by 9 black and white hardcover books can be between 108 and 740 pages. Our 8 ½ by 8 ½, 8 ½ by 11, and 11 by 8 ½ color paperbacks and hardbacks can be between 24 and 250 pages. Please keep in mind that these numbers apply to your final book’s page count not the page count of your original manuscript. Depending on your manuscript’s margins, line spacing, and font size, your final book’s page count could end up being longer or shorter than your original manuscript. If you think you might have a problem with a minimum or maximum page counts, give us a call and we’ll be happy to explore other options with you.
Page Count Affects Pricing
Page count is important because it determines your book’s pricing. The higher your page count, the higher your pricing options will be. This is more of a concern with our color books than our black and white books. If you’re publishing a color book for children, we highly recommend you keep your page range between 24 and 48 pages in order to stay competitively priced with other books on the market. The type of binding your color book will have is also determined by page count. Watch our video, Color Books Guidelines and Design Options, to learn more.
We will design and format your books interior to make it look professional. We will also correct the final page margins, line spacing, the Table of Contents, and the page numbering so you don’t have to worry about them.
Instead of trying to set your manuscript to the final book margins, we prefer you submit it on 8 ½ by 11 sized pages with 1 inch margins. This is the default setting for most word processing software. We’ll handle the modifications of your margins to fit your chosen book size.
You don’t need to double space your manuscript for us. This was common practice in the past to make copy editing easier but it’s no longer required. Single spacing is preferred.
Table of Contents
If your book has a Table of Contents, you don’t need to include the page numbers. Once your text is placed in the final book margins, those page numbers will most likely change. We’ll enter the final page numbers for you during the formatting stage.
Page Numbering, Headers & Footers
You don’t need to include page numbers or any other information in your pages’ headers or footers. Again, we’ll insert these during the formatting stage.
Even if you do these things yourself, they will need to be recreated in our design program during the formatting stage. More importantly, we often see some of these things done incorrectly in manuscripts, which could lead to potential production delays. For these reasons, we ask that you entrust our professionals to complete the formatting of your book.
Check for Common Errors
If you learned to type on a typewriter, using word processing software on a computer means unlearning old formatting conventions and learning new ones. Before submitting your manuscript, we highly recommend you double check for some very common text formatting mistakes that could delay your book’s production.
For example, when you are typing and get to the right hand side of the page, do you hit the Enter key to continue typing on the next line? If so, you will need to watch our video tutorial, The Top Five Submission Mistakes and How You Can Avoid Them. Recognizing and addressing these formatting issues will ensure your book’s production goes as smoothly as possible.
If you’re publishing a color book or if your book contains images or special formatting concerns such as footnotes, tables, columns of text, or an index, we recommend watching our subject specific videos on these topics before submitting your materials.
If you have any additional submission concerns for your book, you’re always welcome to contact us at 0800-644-6988. Thank you again for choosing Xlibris as your publisher. We look forward to getting started on your book.