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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, quick and basic question. As I start to look for an editor, I realize that I've wrote my book as 1 Chapter=1 Word Doc. I realize this is out of the norm, so how would an editor expect to receive the work? As one whole Word Doc? as a PDF? Essentially: Should I combine all my chapters into one document with chapter headings?
 

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Hmm... if your book was 20 chapters, you'd be sending the editor 20 different documents?  I can't speak for other editors, but for me that would be an enormous nuisance.  So yes, I would want one single document.

I work in Track Changes in Word.  I did some work with PDFs at my old day job, enough to think that trying to do substantial edits on a PDF would be a nightmare.

So:  one Word document for me.
 

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Yes--the standard practice (at least among indies) is to have one file for the complete manuscript, with chapter headings. This way, your editor can do global search-and-replace operations, run macros on the complete MS at once, easily find something from an earlier point in the text (e.g., "Wait, I thought Susie's last name was Smith before, not Smythe...") without having to remember also which chapter it was in, and so on. And yes, MS Word is the industry standard for editing, in large part because of its Track Changes and commenting features and the ability to use macros to automate repetitive tasks--it's unlikely your editor would prefer to work on a PDF, though they are sometimes used for final proofing of print books.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
How about the text? Standard 11 point and double spaced, or single spaced? (I know perhaps I'm being tedious, but I do wanna appear professional)
 

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G. M. Washburn said:
How about the text? Standard 11 point and double spaced, or single spaced? (I know perhaps I'm being tedious, but I do wanna appear professional)
I am not a professional but I would prefer 11 or 12 point font nothing smaller and 1.5 space.
 

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Unless I'm editing something that's already been formatted, I will change the line spacing/font to whatever is easiest for me to read (typically double spaced, Times New Roman 12 pt, but I usually read it at 200% anyway). But a single document for sure, please!
 

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I *love* getting double-spaced manuscripts.  They're so much easier to read!

The font size doesn't matter too much (I blow the page up to 120%), but I'd recommend either 11 or 12 point.  One inch margin on all sides, and a decent-sized indent on the first line of each paragraph.
 

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I've send my editor an MS Word Doc, and type it single spaced. She turns on the track change option, and we send it back and forth like this through a few revisions. Then, when it's done, she formats it. I've learned that typing can mess up formating. So, I leave everything single spaced, and increase the size to read it. The manuscript is a whole document, with two spaces between chapter beginnings. It makes it easier to format later.

Each editor does have a way they like to work, and they will usually tell you what they want you to do. The best place to start is MSWord, and then they'll explain the rest. If you're shopping for an editor, get a sample edit. Most editors will sample edit the first couple of pages to show you their style. That's how I could tell my current editor and I worked together well.
 

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Yeah. One document for sure! When I do development edits, I only take MS Word.

And dude! Why are you putting all chapters as separate documents? That's got to be a lot of opening and closing and flipping around while you write it! Unless, you have a really, really good memory for details and don't have to double-check yourself constantly. Putting it in one document will also let you Find/Replace one time (global) every time you change a name, or detail, etc...
 

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G. M. Washburn said:
How about the text? Standard 11 point and double spaced, or single spaced? (I know perhaps I'm being tedious, but I do wanna appear professional)
If you want to look professional, try this: http://www.shunn.net/format/novel.html

All chapters in the same file. Pick a consistent font to use in the whole document. If you send it to the editor via Word or another word processing program in a font they don't like to read, they can easily change it to whatever they want to edit, then change it back before sending the redlines back to you.
 

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I've done some proofreading/copyediting, and like others, prefer a single Word document so I can use Track Changes. If it were up to me, I'd want everything double spaced in an easily readable font, but I've had things come to me already formatted for production and that's fine too. (I've done tech/instructional documents, for example, and formatting for the end product can be weird. But as long as I can read it, I can roll with it.)
 

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I prefer one document (all chapters), double spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman (the font can be changed to your liking later), and 4- or 5-character indents for paragraphs. New chapters should start after a page break.

A Word document for track changes is best. A second best is a Google doc. In Google docs, changes and comments are visible and a simple global search and replace can be handled.
 

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A single Word .doc is best for the Track Changes feature, but I've also worked directly in Scrivener before for authors who are less interested in seeing what proofreading changes are being made. For developmental editing, I just need to be able to make comments - typically a lot of comments - so anything with a commenting feature is fine by me. Ultimately, as Jen said: if I can read it, I can "roll with it." :)
 

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What other folks have said regarding a single document. Industry standard is Times New Roman, 12 pt, double spaced. Something that will save you time and headache down the road is to "pre-format" your document using Word's styles. It also makes it a LOT easier to mess with your fonts and stuff down the road. Here's an article on that aspect of it: http://victoryediting.com/how-to-pre-format-your-manuscript/

Generally speaking, as long as everything's in one document and nothing crazy (like hard returns at the end of each line), your editor should be able to work with you.
 

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I am in agreement with the others. An easily readable format is always preferable, and everything in one Word document (though I have occasionally had a long manuscript sent to me in two parts).
 
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