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We Accept Manuscripts in the Following Formats Only

  • MS Word files
  • Rich Text Format or .rtf files.
If you aren't using MS Word, your word-processing program probably has a Rich Text option under Save As.

Manuscripts may be submitted via email or mailed on cd if you have lots of images or large files.

Note: In limited cases we may be able to accept print-ready Adobe PDF files. There are many ways to create pdf files, most of which do not produce the high-quality 'PDF/X-1a' specification files needed for printing. Talk to your customer service representative.

Here are some simple rules to make the layout process easier. Don't be intimidated by all this; we can usually fix anything that Word does to your manuscript.

  1. Start with Word or Word Perfect. Be sure the file you submit is either file type .doc or .rtf. (rtf is Rich Text Format, and all major word-processing programs have Rich Text as an option under Save As.) Send your manuscript as a single file, containing everything you want published, in the order you want it, including the title page, table of contents, dedication, acknowledgments, etc. Two exceptions: Internal images. Those should be sent separately. (see below) And leave the page after the title page blank; we’ll insert copyright information.

  2. The Enter key won't make a new page: Separate chapters with a hard page break (usually ctrl-enter). Do not just enter carriage returns until you reach a new page. Your text won't flow in layout precisely like it does in your file anyway, but hitting the enter key until Word shows a new page on your computer screen will create a big break in the middle of a book page where you least expect it. And there's no guaranteed way to find all these breaks during the layout process, meaning some of them could wind up in your printed book.

  3. Don't bother with page headers, footers or page numbers. We will add them during the layout process. We don't mean chapter headings; we're talking about the book title at the top of every page for instance. Just leave those off.

  4. Fonts. Use the font style and size you wish to see in print, e.g. Times New Roman 11 pt. Avoid non-standard fonts. If you must use Wingdings or the like, be sure to tell us about it. Books read best in common serif fonts like Times New Roman, Book Antiqua, Bodoni, Garamond, Bookman Old Style, Century Schoolbook or Georgia.

  5. Don't position things with the space bar or tab key. Use the centering and paragraph-indent functions where necessary. What looks centered on an 8.5 x 11 page in Word will not be centered once laid out on a 5.5 x 8.5 book page. This will incur editing charges or get your manuscript returned to be corrected before we can accept it. If you want a standard indent at the beginning of paragraphs, click Format/Paragraph and set first line indent to .2 or .3.

  6. Only use hyphens in words that are normally spelled with hyphens or to set phrases apart. Don't break words from one line to the next using hyphens.

  7. No section breaks. Create your document as a single continuous section (this is usually the default in your program – don't override it by entering section breaks).

  8. Don't underline things you wanted italicized. Use the italics button in your word processor. Remember the typewriter? Underlining is an old-school publishing convention from back before computers. If you want to use two hyphens together to indicate an em (long) dash, you should set Word to make this correction for you under Tools/Auto Correct/Auto Format. We search for them as a rule during layout, but don't leave double hyphens in your manuscript if you don't want to see them in your book.


What about images?

  1. Send images as separate files, not embedded in the document. It makes them easier to handle, and keeps them from getting converted to bitmaps by the word processor. Mark the intended position of each with the actual filename of the image. Don't include instructions like 'place that picture of me and fluffy here.' We'll place them where they belong during layout. NOTE: All images should be at least 300 dpi at the size they will be in print. If you're not sure, ask your customer service representative.

  2. We will not be able to use 'art' created by MS Word. Remember that Microsoft WordArt is not a graphics program. Neither is PowerPoint. The art they create, including simple arrows and boxes, is not intended to be used outside of Microsoft Office - and like a lot of things that started life in Word, they won't behave like you expect when your manuscript goes to layout - this could cause delay, rework on your part and cost everybody money. Graphics should be created using a graphics program like Adobe Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro.

  3. Don't copy images from the internet for use in your book. You probably don't have the right to use pictures you find on the internet anyway, but more importantly, the images on the internet are generally about 72 dpi; images that will be used in your book need to be at least 300 dpi. We can't accept low-resolution web images for your book. NOTE: This does not apply to stock image sites like www.istockphoto.com. Images purchased through stock image sites will almost always give you the option of downloading a 300 dpi file suitable for printing. If you are unsure about your images, ask your WingSpan Press customer service representative.
By David O'Neill Design