Submitting Your Manuscript for Publication: What You Need to Know
Welcome to Trafford. We’re so pleased you’ve chosen us as your publisher and we look forward to receiving your manuscript so that we can begin working on your new book. Before sending your materials, I’d like to discuss four important terms that affect how you should submit your manuscript. The terms are hardcopy and electronic copy, file merging, page count, and language. If you’re not familiar with each of these terms, don’t worry, I’ll go through them one at a time.
Hardcopy or Electronic Copy?
The first thing we need to know about your manuscript is whether it’s a hardcopy or electronic copy. A hardcopy 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 saved 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 accept manuscripts written with Microsoft Word on either a PC or a MAC. Unfortunately, we are not able to work on manuscripts written with Quark or PageMaker. If you have another electronic file format, contact a representative and ask about file conversion.
If you have only a hardcopy of your manuscript, it will need to be data-entered or typed into a computer before we can begin production. We offer data-entry services for an additional fee, but you’re welcome to have your manuscript data-entered wherever you’d like. Please note that if Trafford performs the data-entry, this service has its own additional timeline and must be completed before your book can enter Cover & Interior Design.
If Submitting Your Manuscript as a PDF
If you are submitting your manuscript as a print-ready PDF file, there are technical specifications that it must meet before it can be published. Contact a representative to get the specifications for your chosen book size if you are sending a PDF.
File merging is necessary when we receive a manuscript 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”.
We can publish books of nearly any length but our printer does have some page minimums and maximums, which vary depending on the book type you are publishing. Our black & white paperback books can be between 48 and 740 pages. Our hardcover black and white books can be between 108 and 740 pages. And finally, our color paperbacks can be between 4 and 480 pages. Please keep in mind that these numbers apply to your final book’s page count not the page count of your original manuscript. Depending on your manuscript’s margins, line spacing, font size, and how many images might need to be inserted, your final book’s page count could end up being longer or shorter than your original manuscript. If you think you might have a problem with the minimum or maximum page counts, just give us a call and 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 our color books than our black and white books. If you are publishing a color children’s book, we highly recommend keeping your page range between 4 and 48 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 manuscripts written in English or Spanish. If you’ve written your manuscript in another language, you may need to submit it as a print-ready document, especially if we do not have fonts to support the language. Print-ready manuscripts need to be submitted as PDF files in the final page size and book margins with fonts embedded. If you’re submitting a print-ready PDF, contact a representative to make sure it will meet printer specifications.
If you are publishing a color or poetry book, or if your book contains images, we recommend watching our subject specific videos on these topics before submitting your materials. If you have any additional submission concerns for your book, you are always welcome to contact us at 1.888.232.4444.