Formatting

Pile of booksDo you secretly hanker for the days when everyone wrote with a proper fountain pen and ‘cut and paste’ involved real scissors? Or are you happy enough to write Chapter 7 on your phone, Appendix 3 on your tablet and stitch them into the main document on your laptop … only to find that fonts have inexplicably changed and, no matter how much you play with the settings in Paragraph, the gaps stubbornly refuse to adjust themselves to the same size?

Even those of us who have trained ourselves out of putting two spaces after a full stop seldom think about how we get the words and ideas from our heads into the right order on the screen.

As a result, it’s almost certain that when you print out a manuscript, make it into an e-book or upload it to a print-on-demand provider, something, somewhere won’t look the way you expected it. (Me too: those ‘you’s should have been ‘one’s, but I thought that sounded too pretentious.) If you know your styles from your formats and your css from your html then a bit of digging and (often, a lot of) patience can put it right.

But what if that’s all gobbledygook, and the ‘help’ you find online even more bewildering? Or you don’t have the time to seek out every stray tab character?

Then get me to do it for you: I know that messing around with IT isn’t everyone’s idea of fun.

  • You might just want the text cleaning or some extra formatting to meet the submission requirements of a particular institution, competition or publisher. No problem.
  • You want it back as one or more of the standard e-book file types? Can do.
  • You need to be sure the meat grinder at Smashwords won’t spit it out? They’re picky, so it might take a bit longer but, yes, of course.
  • You’d rather have a real book in your hands so want to get it on CreateSpace or Lulu? We can do that. ‘We’ there is not an indication that I’m royalty or that I’ve taken on some employees: it means I will work with you. For example, a print book needs back cover*, blurb and spine as well as the text and cover so there’s a bit more for you to supply—and it may need tweaking once you’ve chosen the size. Also, of course, the account(s) through which your book is uploaded will be, and stay, yours.

However you choose to share your thoughts with the world, I can make sure that your reader is left free to focus what the words mean, rather than struggling because of how your writing appears on the page.

Why pay?

  • Spend time on what you do best—writing.
  • Avoid five star reviews becoming four star reviews because of things that are nothing to do with your content.
  • Get a cleanly formatted manuscript that is more likely to work on a new platform or open in a new program.

*On the subject of covers, if you have an image you want to use, but aren’t sure how to put it together with your name and title I can do that bit too.