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The details

WritersServices Self-publishing

Preparing your text for submission

Our designers need a 'clean' script to work with.

  1. Make sure your text is copy-edited. It is expensive to change text later.

  2. Gather all the documents into one file.

  3. Give the file a clear name, ideally the title of the book.

  4. Check below as there are a number of other files you might need to incorporate.

  5. We are happy to receive files uncompressed but if you want to ‘zip’ your book, that is fine.

A bit more about the text

Nearly all of the special formatting will be lost or transformed when it is imported into the design software on the Mac

The time when computers were toys for bright boys and had names like Apple, Tangerine or Pet are history. Apple evolved into Mac or Macintosh after a brief flirtation with the lovely Lisa. The original company name lives on in the website title for the Mac. Downloads

computers used.

All the 'hard' page breaks must be removed, along with all other formatting for paragraphs.

Get rid of any running headers or footers, including page numbers. We normally add a running head on each page, and this is something that can be decided as the design proceeds.

You can leave special text effects such as bold and italic but most special fonts will be lost. If you have a special requirement especially for non-fiction, where the layout and use of fonts can be important, you can include your instructions in one of two ways:

  • Send two copies of your text, one with and the other without the formatting you want. Your copy can give the designer an idea of the look you hope to achieve. 


  • Prepare a design brief. You can embed instructions in the text but make sure they cannot be mistaken for the text itself. Put them in a different colour or include them in square brackets. 

After all the emotional commitment to the writing, it would be nice to think that the hard work was behind you. As your partner in the process we will try to minimise the number of decisions you have to make but there are a few which need to be sorted out. Rather than confront you with a long list of decisions, our team of designers will come up with suggestions that you can change during the design process.

However, there are some issues we would like to sort out now:

  • Have you got a subtitle? This is a very useful place to include keywords that will help people search for your book so give it a bit of thought.

  • What about a dedication?

  • Have you compiled a list of chapters or a table of contents? The designers will add the page numbers

  • Are you writing a foreword, a list of acknowledgements, a bibliography or postscript? If so, please include it in your text file.

  • Does the work need an index? If so, who is going to produce it? This is normally produced once the proof is ready.


Have you some ideas for the cover? We need a brief for the designer.

Have you written some ‘blurb’ about the book? The blurb goes on the back cover and is the basis for the text submitted to ISBN when the book is registered. It is important for selling your book.

Do you want a picture of yourself for the back cover?

Have you started work on your back-page bio? People like to ‘meet’ the writer. It may only be 200 words but it needs careful construction. We can include this inside the book, at the front or back of the text.


What margin do you need to offer the book trade? We normally suggest 45-55% to cover the three organisations in the supply chain.

What price should you sell the book for? We normally include this, with a price in UK pounds and US dollars.

Do you want to advertise or list other work by you or related to your book?

Have you a target date or would you like to set a publication date?

There are many special markets.