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Submitting a Manuscript and Cover Art

The following guide was written to help authors correctly submit manuscripts.
Please read this how-to section thoroughly.

All manuscripts submitted to Bruce must be completed. They must be fully spell-checked, edited and proofread (by professionals, associates, writers support groups, family or friends*).

It is recommended that authors do not attempt to do the final edits and proofreading themselves. The visual fatigue and “copy blindness” at the tail-end of a writing project inhibits effective editing and proofreading. Bruce maintains a list of professional editors adept at polishing-up book manuscripts. We highly encourage authors to select an editor from this short list, and fully utilize their services.

Authors should submit one copy of the completed, fully-edited and proofread manuscript to Bruce. It should be in a standard word processer format such as; MS Word, WordPerfect, iPage, or other standard word processing program. The digital copy should be saved in Rich Text Format (RFT), which is a “save” option available within all word processor programs. RTF preserves a document's formatting in a standardized form. The digital manuscript can be submitted to Bruce on CD, DVD, Zip Disk, USB flash drive, or can be emailed as an attachment to: WBruceConway@gmail.com.

The manuscript's typeface used should be a standard font style such as: Minion, Times Roman, Times New Roman, Garamond, New Century Schoolbook, Book Antiqua. Don’t use single spaced fonts named after cities such as: Chicago, Monaco, etc. Don't use Type 1 fonts if your book is going to be an eBook. Truetype and OpenType fonts are best for .ePub and .mobi eBook formats.

The finished manuscript may be broken into seperate chapters, or be in one continuous text block. It should be single spaced, and only minimally formatted.

Do not attempt to lay out the book yourself in a word processor, this is Bruce's job. Many authors attempt this in Microsoft Word, spending countless hours inserting complex formatting, tables, photos, and multiple typefaces. This is a waste of time and money. So stick to basic word processing formatting: italics, paragraph returns, indents, left and center alignment. Do not use multiple spaces to indent paragraphs. Instead, set-up your paragraph indent control.

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Avoid inserting page breaks, headers, footers and automatic page numbering.

MS Word is the most popular word processing program, but should not be used as a page layout program. Its formatting tools wreak havoc with professional book and page layout programs. Excessive formatting will have to be removed and reset at additional cost.

It is the designer’s job to format and lay out the pages and chapters of the book. If the author has specific ideas about page layout, typefaces, etc. they should submit printed samples to the designer before the formatting and layout process begins. But we do encouraged authors to work with the designer during these phases.

Charts, graphs, photos and illustrations can be submitted on paper, or in digital format (jpeg, jpg, tif, tiff, psd, or eps. file formats). Native Photoshop, Illustrator and Freehand files are accepted as well. Please don’t bulk email us photos. Send them on CD, DVD, USB flash drive, or Zip Disk instead.

Limit the number of illustrations and photos to one for every 10-15 pages, unless more photos are essential to the thematic structure (such as in a coffee table, art or nature photography book). Note the specific target areas in the text blocks where photos need to be inserted.

Submitting Cover Art

The book jacket/cover is an author’s most important promotional sales tool. It is the book’s billboard and primary advertising vehicle. It must stand out from other books on a book store shelf, be visually attractive, and elicit curiosity from the potential buyer.

The book jacket/cover needs to inform potential book buyers about the book contents, and do so at a glance. It must also compete effectively with other books within the same genre.

People really do judge a book by its cover. This is why it is so crucial that a book’s cover design be top-notch. One of my early book designs, Red Sky in Mourning caught the eye of a Disney/Hyperion executive perusing one of our island bookstores while on vacation. This resulted in the book rights being purchased by Disney for half of a million dollars. If the cover had been uninteresting, he would have passed it by without a glance.

If the author already has photographs, illustrations or other cover art elements they wish to be included in the cover design, they can be submitted on either paper or in digital format on CD, DVD, USB flash drive, or Zip Disk. If submitting art in digital format, it should be in Photoshop psd, eps, tif or tiff format. Art resolution should be 300-400 dots (or pixels) per inch. Do not attempt to color-correct the photos yourself, we are happy to do this for you.

If the client does not have access to cover art elements, Bruce is happy to design a top-notch cover for the book. We start with creative typography for the title, sub-title and other cover text. We then use an original (or stock) photo or illustration, and design an original, interesting and attractive book cover around it. We can also have an original photo taken specifically for the cover.

* During the writing stage of a book projects authors are encouraged to get feedback from other readers. Writing support groups are ideal for this. They are free, and can offer invaluable feedback to the author. Members of writers support groups will often read, proofread, and even edit the work during the writing phase.

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