Is Your Manuscript Ready? Tips for Fast & Easy Publication


Hi, and welcome to AuthorHouse. We’re so happy you’ve chosen us as your publisher and we look forward to receiving your manuscript so we can begin production on your new book.

In this video, we’ll share with you some important information that will help your book look it’s absolute best and ensure that it’s production goes as quickly and smoothly as possible.

First, we want to introduce a few terms that relate directly to your manuscript: hard copy and electronic copy, file merging, length, and language. If you’re not familiar with all of these terms, don’t worry, we’ll go through them one at a time.

Hard Copy and Electronic Copy

The first thing we need to know about your manuscript is whether it is a hard copy or an electronic copy. A hard copy manuscript is one that is printed on paper. An electronic copy is one that has been typed and saved into a computer, where it can be put on a cd or dvd or sent over the internet. Your book will go into production a lot faster if you submit an electronic copy. We can work with manuscripts written with Microsoft Word 6.0 or higher, written on either a PC or a MAC. Unfortunately, we are unable to work with manuscripts written with Quark or PageMaker. If you have another electronic file format, contact a representative and ask about file conversion.

If you only have a hard copy of your manuscript, it must be data-entered or typed into a computer before production will begin. We offer data-entry services for an additional fee, but you’re welcome to have the manuscript data-entered wherever you like. Please note that if AuthorHouse performs the data-entry, it must be completed before the book enters production. If you are submitting your manuscript as a PDF file, there are technical specifications that it must meet before it can be published. Please contact your representative to get the specifications for your chosen book size if submitting your manuscript as a PDF.

File Merging

File merging is necessary when we receive a manuscript written in more than one file. For example, if you send each chapter of your manuscript as a separate file, we will need to put the files together before we can begin production on your book. There is a fee for file merging, and it takes a little extra time as well. For these reasons, it is best if you submit your manuscript as one continuous file. If you need help doing this, watch our video tutorial on file merging.

Manuscript Length

We can publish books of nearly any length, but our printer does have some page minimums and maximums. Our 5 x 8 and 6 x 9 paperback books can be between 48 and 740 pages. Our 8 ¼ x 11 paperback books can be between 48 and 828 pages. Our 8 ½ x 8 ½ and 8 ½ x 11 color paperback books can be between 24 and 480 pages. Finally, our 6 x 9 hardcover books can be between 108 and 740 pages.

Please keep in mind that these numbers apply to your book’s final page count, not the page count of your original manuscript. Depending on your manuscript’s margins, line spacing, and font size, your book’s final page count may be longer or shorter than your original manuscript. If you think you might have a problem with the minimum or maximum page counts, give us a call, we’ll be happy to explore some options with you.

Page count is important because it determines your book’s pricing. The higher your page count, the higher your pricing options will be. This is more of a concern with color books than it is with black and white books. If you are publishing a color children’s book, we highly recommend that you keep the page range between 24 and 480 pages in order to stay competitively priced with other books on the market. The type of binding your color book will have is also determined by page count. Watch our video Color Books: Guidelines and Design Options to learn more.


We can publish in English and Spanish.

We’ll Format Your Book

We’ll design and format your book’s interior to make it look like a professional book. We’ll take care of page margins, line spacing, the table of contents, and page numbering so you don’t have to worry about them.

Unless your book is poetry, instead of trying to set your manuscript in the final book margins, we prefer that you submit it on 8 ½ x 11 sized pages with 1 inch margins. This is the default setting for most word processing software. If you’ve written poetry, watch our tutorial on Poetry Books to learn some additional guidelines unique to poetry publishing.

You do not need to double-space your manuscript for us. This was common practice in the past to make copy-editing easier, but it’s no longer required. Single-spacing is preferred.

If your book has a Table of Contents, you do not need to include the page numbers. Once your text is placed in the final book margins, those pages will most likely be changing anyway. We will enter the final page numbers for you during the formatting stage.

You do not need to include page numbers or any other information in your headers or footers. Again, we will insert these during the formatting stage. If you have specific ideas about how you would like you headers or footers formatted, you can include this information in your Submission Information Form.

Even if you do these things yourself, they will need to be recreated in our design program during the formatting stage. More importantly, we often see these things done incorrectly in manuscripts which can lead to production delays. For this reason, we ask that you simply don’t worry about them, we’ll take care of it.

Check for Common Errors

If you learned to type on a typewriter, using word processing software on a computer means unlearning old formatting conventions and learning new ones. Before submitting your manuscript, we highly recommend that you double-check for some common text-formatting mistakes that could delay your book’s production.

For example, when you are typing and you get to the right-hand side of the page, do you hit the Enter key to continue typing on the next line? If so, you’ll definitely want to watch our video tutorial The Top Five Submission Mistakes and How to Avoid Them. Recognizing and addressing these formatting issues now will help ensure that your book’s production goes as smoothly as possible.

If you’re publishing a color or poetry book, or if your book contains images or a special formatting concern such as footnotes, tables, columns of text, or an index, we recommend watching our subject-specific videos on these topics before submitting your materials. If you have any additional submission concerns, you are always welcome to contact us at 1-888-728-8467.

Thanks again for choosing AuthorHouse as your publisher. We look forward to getting started on your book.