The first step is to get the text of your book into a computer file or files.
These days most people type their manuscripts using a program like MSWord but if this is not the case, there are several options open.
If you have already keyboarded your manuscript into a computer
file, you should have it proofread and corrected, preferably by a professional editor (see Editorial
If your manuscript has been
typed on a typewriter, it can be scanned into a computer file that can be edited in a word-processing program.
This is faster and easier than having the manuscript keyboarded.
After the pages
have been scanned, the computer file that contains the text
should be proofread, preferably by a professional proofreader (see Editorial
Work) as the scanning program is "guessing" at each letter and any smudging or marks on the pages will be confusing. Following
this proofing, corrections should be made to the computer file(s)
before the file is sent for layout.
If your manuscript is written in long-hand, you will need to
have it keyboarded into a computer. If you don't have any
long-suffering relatives or close friends who will do this for
you, local university or college bulletin boards are a good
place to find listings for people who you can pay to keyboard
your manuscript. Another possibility is to look in the Yellow
Pages under "Word Processing" to find a list of
companies who provide this service.
manuscript has been keyboarded, have the file proofread, preferably by a professional proofreader (see
Editorial Work), and make the necessary changes.
Once editing is complete, the manuscript file or files can emailed for layout or supplied on a CD/DVD.
Make sure that you
keep a backup copy of the computer file or files for your book
in case something happens to the computer that holds the files.