Bound Manuscripts – Four Simple Steps

Bound manuscripts are essential to establish a prepublication marketing strategy and exposure before the book is sent to the printer. Used in place of the Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) or the galley, the bound manuscript takes the least time to create.

Bound manuscripts can be printed on copy paper using a desktop printer. Label the title and the author of the book on the front. All pertinent information about the book must be included in the text.

Send the manuscript to book reviewers, book clubs, radio stations, websites, magazines and newspapers for publicity. Before you run off and print a bound manuscript, first check the submission guidelines and follow the four simple steps below to avoid embarrassment or no response at all.

Step 1: Edit – Edit the manuscript, thoroughly. Proofread the text for the last time. Did you use a professional editor? Still line edit and review – your reputation is on the line.

Step 2: Typeset – Typeset the manuscript or hire a professional. If you layout the pages on your own, research the process and apply all technical specifications a layout designer would.

Step 3: Print– Print the typeset manuscript from your computer. If possible, print two-sided pages to reduce paper and give a novel feel. Shorter books can be printed on one side of the paper.

Step 4: Bind – Bind the manuscript using binding tape or punch holes in left column and use the spiral bind. Punching holes and using the spiral bind provides a more finished look to the book. A plastic comb bind also provides a professional end product.

Package the manuscript with a press release, a sell sheet, a business card and a cover letter. For the best results, send the press kit and follow the submission guidelines. Stick to the four steps. Some book reviewers will let small errors pass, but a professionally produced bound manuscript will present the best opportunity for maximum exposure.

If you do not have the equipment to produce the bound manuscript, hire a company to complete the project or research print shops for binding services.