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The Manuscript Publishing Process

Can I publish my book in any language other than English?
How long does my book need to be in order to become published with iUniverse?
Will I be able to proof my book block and cover design before my book is published?
Which file formats do you accept?
What are the 'Parts of a Book' referred to by iUniverse?
How should I format my manuscript before submitting it for publication?
Do you want my manuscript submission single-spaced or double- spaced?
My manuscript is double-spaced, has straight quotes, and two spaces after end punctuation. Do I have to retype my entire manuscript to meet your submission requirements/guidelines?
Should I set my margins to iUniverse's most common book size, 6"x9"?
I have a republished book for which I have the rights to the content, but not to the design. Can I republish this book with iUniverse?
What are your returns and claims policies?
What does iUniverse do to market and sell my book after it's published?
What is an ISBN and who actually owns it?
What is "intellectual property?"
What does it mean when you refer to "non-exclusive" contracts?
My manuscript is in multiple files. How do I combine them into a single document?


Can I publish my book in any language other than English?

Currently, iUniverse only publishes English- and Spanish-language books.

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How long does my book need to be in order to become published with iUniverse?

iUniverse can publish books of nearly any length. Black and white books should be a minimum of 48 pages and a maximum of 900 pages. Color books should be a minimum of 24 pages and a maximum of 480 pages. Extremely large books may be published in two volumes.

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Will I be able to proof my book block and cover design before my book is published?

As a part of the proofing process, authors may make one round of corrections to their book cover, up to 50 corrections to the book block, or a combination of both free of charge.

Proofing New Manuscripts

As a part of the proofing process, authors may have one round of unlimited corrections to their book cover, book block or a combination of both free of charge.

If an author wishes to make more than 50 corrections to the book block during the manuscript editing process, additional corrections may be purchased for a fee. If you find you need to make significant changes to your book, moving or removing paragraphs for example, contact your Publishing Services Representative for instructions.

All corrections must be noted on the iUniverse Electronic Proof Form that is provided with your author proofs.

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Which file formats do you accept?

When submitting your manuscript, please use the following word processing program:

Windows
Word 6.0 and higher

Note: Presently, we do not accept Quark or PageMaker files. We can accept InDesign CS2 to CS6 files.

If your InDesign file is newer than version CS6, you can export it as an idml exchange file. Please understand there may be some conversions that are not exact when this method is used.

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What are the 'Parts of a Book' referred to by iUniverse?

For an explanation of this phrase, please refer to Parts of Your Self-Published Book.

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How should I format my manuscript before submitting it for publication?

All of the preliminary work on your manuscript—editing, proofreading and text formatting—must be complete before you submit your manuscript. "Text formatting" is how you achieve paragraph breaks, line breaks, indents and spaces in the text of your manuscript.

Observing a few basic text formatting rules enables us to produce your manuscript into a book professionally and efficiently.

iUniverse Word Processing Guidelines

Basic Text Formatting Rules: 

  • Paragraphs: Paragraphs are separated with one paragraph mark (¶). This is also referred to as a "hard return." Lines within a paragraph must wrap at the margin; lines are not broken with paragraph marks or manual line breaks.
  • First Line Indents: The beginning of the paragraph (first line) should be indented with a tab.
  • Indented Paragraphs: To indent a block of text, such as a passage from a referenced source, choose the "Format Paragraph" option in most word processors and indent the paragraph by 1/2 inch.
  • Indenting Single Lines: To indent individual lines, as in a poem or a recipe, use tab(s).

Use of Dashes, Hyphens, and Ellipses

Dashes, ellipses and other special characters are found under the "Insert" menu of your word processor, under "Symbol/Special Characters."

  • Do not use double dashes -- to express a pause in a thought or duration of time.
  • Use em dashes — (the longest dash) or ellipses … to separate thoughts or clauses within a sentence.
  • Use en dashes – (the longer dash) to separate periods of time or numbers.
  • Use hyphens - (on your keyboard) to separate two words that are usually linked with a hyphen.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Dashes and Ellipsis

Windows

em dash: Hold down the "Alt" key and type "0151"
en dash: Hold down the "Alt" key and type "0150"
ellipse: Hold down the "Alt" key and type "0133"

Macintosh

em dash: Hold down the "Command" and "Option" keys and type "-"
em dash: Hold down the "Command" key and type "-"
ellipse: Hold down the "Option" key and type ";"

Titles (Books, Movies, Magazines)

Book, magazine article and other titles are usually italicized.

Before the advent of word processors and electronic publishing, authors indicated a title of a work with underline—this is no longer standard practice.

 That was then... This is now...

Figure 1:

As shown above, indicating titles with underlines (or all caps) is no longer practiced—authors italicize titles using their software.

Stuff to Avoid

  • Do not use ALL CAPS: Do not use all caps for emphasis or for titles. WORDS TYPED IN ALL CAPS ARE DIFFICULT TO READ.
  • Limit Use of Underlining: Underlined text is no longer in practice. When you need to emphasize text, use italics instead.
  • Limit Use of Centered Text: Limit use of centered text. It looks formal and can be hard to read.
  • Do Not Use Double Dashes: Do not use double dashes to express a pause in a thought or duration of time
  • Do Not Use Hard Returns for Each Line: Do not use use a hard return after each line. Only use a hard return after the end of a paragraph. Refer to our viewing formatting codes section (below) to insure that you do not have unneccessary hard returns.

Viewing Formatting Codes

If you learned to type on a typewriter, using word processing software on a computer means "unlearning" old formatting conventions and learning new ones.

To view the text formatting in your manuscript, turn on "show formatting" in your word processor by clicking on the paragraph code icon. (In some word processing programs, this is called "Show Invisibles").

By viewing and interpreting the formatting codes in your manuscript, you can insure that your manuscript has been word processed correctly and will proceed to production.

Microsoft Word (Windows and Macintosh)

To reveal formatting codes in Microsoft Word, click on the "paragraph" symbol in the toolbar.

 Reveal Formatting

Figure 2:

The paragraph symbol in the MSWord toolbar.

If the "paragraph" symbol is not on your toolbar, go to the "Tools" menu, select "Options," and click the check boxes next to the formatting marks you want to view.

Show Formatting

Figure 3:

Show All Formatting marks in the document.

Interpreting Formatting Codes

The appearance of the paragraph formatting codes varies slightly among word processors. However; in general, formatting codes appear as symbols, arrows and dots.

Interpreting Formatting

Figure 4:

Formatting codes in a Microsoft Word document: a tab is signified by an arrow, a space by a dot in the middle of the line and a paragraph mark by a backwards-looking "P."

Examples

While each of the paragraphs below look virtually the same with formatting codes off, common errors are revealed in the second paragraph when formatting codes are visible.

Example 1

Figure 5:

With formatting codes hidden, both of these paragraphs appear to be formatted correctly.

Example 2

Figure 6:

Formatting codes reveal the right—and the wrong—ways of formatting text.

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Do you want my manuscript submission single-spaced or double-spaced?

We prefer manuscripts to be single-spaced.

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My manuscript is double-spaced, has straight quotes and two spaces after end punctuation. Do I have to retype my entire manuscript to meet your submission requirements/guidelines?

At iUniverse, our goal is to produce high-quality, professional-looking books. One of the reasons we ask for specific items, like smart quotes (curled quotes) instead of straight quotes, is that it gives your work a subtle, added professionalism that is well worth any extra effort.

If you are not sure how to format your document correctly, please consult the "Help" menu in your particular word processing application. Depending upon what you are using, the process may be as simple as using the "Find" and "Replace" commands in your program or setting a style preference to use smart quotes instead straight quotes.

Lastly, we do have a macro (a set of instructions that tells the application what to do with the text) that will correct the most common formatting errors. This includes changing straight quotes to smart quotes, deleting extra spaces after punctuation, etc. However, it's always best if you provide your manuscript to us in the correct format. That way you can be completely assured that it meets your specifications.

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Should I set my margins to iUniverse's most common book size, 6"x9"?

No. Please use the 8.5 x 11 page size, with standard one-inch margins and portrait (not landscape) orientation. We will take care of modifying the book block to fit within your chosen book format.

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I have a republished book for which I have the rights to the content, but not to the design. Can I republish this book with iUniverse?

If you have the rights to the content, then you don't have to worry about any infringement upon the original design rights.

If you want to reproduce the original cover or any graphics in the book block, then you need to own rights to those images or obtain permission from the copyright holder in order for us to use them. If you do not have the rights to these images, iUniverse will create a new cover for your book.

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What are your returns and claims policies?

iUniverse books are printed on demand, which means that the book is printed when it is ordered. Print-on-demand orders are non-returnable and non-refundable, except in the event of poor print quality or an error in quantity. Please report quality or quantity issues to Customer Service (customerservice@iuniverse.com or (877) 823-9235) immediately upon receipt of the order. All claims must be filed within 30 days of shipment receipt.

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What does iUniverse do to market and sell my book after it's published?

iUniverse provides products and services designed to help authors self-publish their books. After an author self-publishes, they are responsible for the marketing and sales of their particular book. iUniverse offers an extensive selection of marketing products and services to assist those authors who may not have the time or experience to effectively market their books. There are also many books and online resources available that offer a variety of ideas and tips on how to creatively market your own title.

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What is an ISBN and who actually owns it?

The ISBN, or International Standard Book Number, is an identification number that is unique for every book. A book's ISBN can almost always be found on the back cover, and it is usually accompanied by a bar code that shows the ISBN number and the book price. (The bar code is used for inventory and checkout by most U.S. retailers.)

The first several digits of an ISBN usually designate the book's publisher. iUniverse ISBNs begin with 0-595. This indicates to a retailer that the book is an iUniverse title. Because an iUniverse ISBN will be assigned to your book, if (at a later date) you republish the book elsewhere you will want to use a different ISBN.

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What is "intellectual property?"

The term "intellectual property" refers to any product of one's intellect that has commercial value, including copyrighted property such as literary or artistic works, and ideational property, such as patents, business methods and industrial processes.

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What does it mean when you refer to "non-exclusive" contracts?

When you sign the iUniverse contract, you're granting us a non-exclusive license to publish your work. The term "non-exclusive" means that you have the right at any time to grant other entities a similar "license to publish." Examples of other entities might include a traditional publisher, another print-on-demand publishing company or an audio book publisher.

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My manuscript is in multiple files. How do I combine them into a single document?

To combine files into a single document, follow these steps.

1. Open Chapter 1 of your manuscript. Press the 'page down' key to take you to the end of this document.
2. On the tool bar, click on Insert and pull down the menu to 'File'. Find Chapter 2; highlight this file but do not open it. Click on Insert. This will put your second chapter directly after the first chapter.
3. Press the 'page down' key to take you to the end of the document. Click on Insert and pull down the menu to insert a break; choose 'page break'.
Save this document with a new file name as your final manuscript.
Repeat Steps 2 and 3 with subsequent chapters (always saving after each insertion) until you have your entire manuscript in a single file.

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