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A Manuscript Appraisals Handbook www.manuscriptuk.com
Copyright © Norman Price 2013 All rights reserved
Contents INTRODUCTION 1 FORMATTING 2 SPELLING 3 PUNCTUATION 4 GRAMMAR 5 READABILITY 6 OVERVIEW 7 PROOF CORRECTION SYMBOLS 8 STAR RATING SHEET 9 COPY-EDITING EXERCISES ANSWERS TO EXERCISES YOUR PERSONAL LIBRARY
About the author In addition to several recently self-published eBook titles, Norman Price has had books published by George G. Harrap, Heinemann Educational Books, Edward Arnold, The Singapore Government, First & Best in Education Ltd, and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority. He has worked as a professional editor for more than 25 years, during which time he has taught creative writing at Pembrokeshire College, and also served as a book reviewer of technical and fiction titles for various publishers. He is currently Editorial Director with Manuscript Appraisals, a long-established, UK-based literary and editorial agency (www.manuscriptuk.com).
This modest handbook is for those of you who are writing or have written your manuscript and are intending to bypass the arduous traditional publishing route and publish your work independently. By so doing, you will guarantee publication, eliminate the heartache of rejection, and speed up the process of publication by one or more years. You will also enjoy a royalty payment rate of up to eight times that paid by the major publishing houses. The importance of competent copy-editing and an attractive cover cannot be over-emphasized if your new book is to achieve the success your efforts deserve. If you can afford and find a first class professional editor, the financial investment will surely prove money well spent. But as an 'Indie' author working on a tight budget, you have to arrange or do everything yourself, meaning cover-design, copy-editing, and product promotion. Editing Tips for Indie Authors assumes you write well and have reasonably competent keyboard and word processing skills. This book will help you to avoid most of the obvious pitfalls and help you to copy-edit and hone your text to a commendable standard. We will proceed one step at a time in a simple and well-proven sequence, namely by polishing your formatting, spelling, punctuation, grammar, and the readability of your text to suit your targeted readership. So begin by tidying-up your formatting as shown in Chapter 1, and then work your way through your manuscript concentrating only on the spelling. Then go through your entire text checking just your punctuation. Next, in turn, check and upgrade first your grammar, and then the readability of your book. By progressing slowly in this way you will iron out most of the basic problems before performing a final overall edit of all aspects of your work. So let's get started.
We begin with formatting because a neat and tidy page layout will be easy on the eye and thus facilitate the copy-editing stages that follow. The basic considerations when determining page layout are choice of font, font size, line spacing, and first-line indent. The most commonly used fonts are Aerial, Calibri, and Times New Roman. The choice is yours but we always prefer Times New Roman. A safe bet for the font size for the main text of your book is 12 point. Use bold 14 point for chapter headings, and bold 12 point for sub-headings. Normally we would only increase these recommended font sizes for wording on the book's cover, and perhaps on the Title Page. A good choice of line spacing is 1.5 lines. Chapter headings can be left-aligned or centralized, and for eBook publications your main text is best left-aligned, rather than justified. For novels and short stories, the first line of each paragraph should be indented; the exception being the opening paragraph of each new chapter which is traditionally left-aligned (as shown below in the first page of a chapter extracted from a novel). Note that there is no extra spacing between paragraphs. When working with dialogue, begin a fresh indented paragraph for each change of speaker.
Thank you for your interest The full version of this eBook is available from Amazon.com