1. Alex R. Encomienda

    Alex R. Encomienda Contributor Contributor

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    Numbering manuscripts..

    Discussion in 'Editing' started by Alex R. Encomienda, Dec 9, 2016.

    I've finished my first draft and I'm now starting my editing phase but I'm having trouble formatting the numbering. Do manuscripts absolutely need numbered pages? It'll make my 290 pages go up to 320 pages because I'll have to save room at the bottom for the numbers.

    How do you writers number your manuscripts?
     
  2. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Supporter Contributor

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    I use Scrivener. It compiles to standard Shunn manuscript format automatically - I just let the software do it for me.
     
  3. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

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    Page numbers are definitely needed, but it shouldn't inflate your page count. Do you know how to use headers and footers in your word processor?
     
  4. EnginEsq

    EnginEsq Member

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  5. Alex R. Encomienda

    Alex R. Encomienda Contributor Contributor

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    How does that work exactly? I have Microsoft office 2007. Would it work on that?
     
  6. EnginEsq

    EnginEsq Member

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    You use Scrivener instead of Word. It can import Word files, and export files that Word can edit for final format tweaking.

    There's a free trial available.
     
  7. Alex R. Encomienda

    Alex R. Encomienda Contributor Contributor

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    From Word I can import it to scrivener using the trial and print it out?
     
  8. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    Wait, this is for your MS that you're going to submit to agents/publishers, or for something you're going to self-publish?

    For the first, I wouldn't worry about page numbers, but I also wouldn't worry about number of pages. The business is just about all digital now, so people will be reading on-screen and won't care about book-style formatting. I don't think I've ever put page numbers or headers/footers on an MS I was submitting.

    For self-publishing? Yeah. Take a look at the books you've bought, and try to make your version look similar to those, unless there's a very good reason not to. Of course, most of your sales will likely be e-book, unless you're hand-selling, in which case we're back to it not mattering whether there are page numbers or the total number of pages.
     
  9. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    If you want to insert page numbers in Word it's pretty easy. There is a fairly cleat tutorial here: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/10865/add-page-numbers-to-documents-in-word-2007-2010/

    I use Word for all of my writing; there are a lot of writers who love Scrivner and find it useful, but for me personally I would never use 99% of the features. But I'm also very low maintenance when it comes to writing software - if I punch keys and words appear on the page I'm good to go.

    But to piggyback on BayView's comment, if you're submitting to publishers you'll likely find that each has its own formatting guidelines (preferred font, indenting on new paragraphs, etc.) that they want you to follow. I would think if they wanted page numbers it would be in their submission guidelines.
     
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  10. pamedria

    pamedria Member

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    I don't know about any of this extra stuff, but you can literally just add page numbers into word. Easy pie.


    1. Double-click anywhere on the header or footer to unlock it. ...
    2. Click the Page Number command. ...
    3. Page numbering will appear. ...
    4. To edit the font, font size, and alignment of page numbers, select a page number and click the Home tab. ...
    5. When you're finished, press the Esc key.
     
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  11. Alex R. Encomienda

    Alex R. Encomienda Contributor Contributor

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    Yes it is for agents/publishers.
     
  12. psychotick

    psychotick Contributor Contributor

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    Hi,

    I use Word 2000. Inserting page numbers is easy. Just go to "view" click view headers and footers, and a pop up bar should appear. Then switch between header and footer on the bar and it gives you an auto text insert of a page number - just scroll your mouse along the icons on the bar, and you can place the page number anywhere in the bar by using the justify keys.

    I'd have normally the title of the book and your name in the header, and the page number in the footer if submitting.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  13. Selbbin

    Selbbin The Moderating Cat Staff Contributor

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    Who cares if the page count goes up? Publishers look at word count.
     
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  14. Alex R. Encomienda

    Alex R. Encomienda Contributor Contributor

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    What would be an ideal word count for a novel?
     
  15. NiallRoach

    NiallRoach Contributor Contributor

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    This depends wildly on genre and target audience, but around 70-80k is standard for a mainstream, adult novel. YA tends to be shorter, whereas Sci-Fi and fantasy tend towards being longer.
    What are you writing?
     
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  16. Alex R. Encomienda

    Alex R. Encomienda Contributor Contributor

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    That's what I was thinking. I'm writing fantasy and it is somewhere around 138,000 but I'm hoping to shrink it during my second draft.
     
  17. psychotick

    psychotick Contributor Contributor

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    Hi,

    As always my first question is why? Your book should be as long as it needs to be in order to tell your story in the way that you want to tell it. If you're starting to think you need to sacrifice words to meet a publisher's / agent's likes, what are you sacrificing in order to do it? Are you giving up on your artistic freedom / judgement to meet an arbitrary goal.

    I know this is hard advice to hear for those wanting to go trade, but stick to your guns. Make your book the best it can be. And hopefully an agent or publisher will see it for what it is rather than how long it is. And if they don't there is always indie.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
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  18. terobi

    terobi Senior Member

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    Yes, your work should be as long as it needs to be (and rough page count is generally standard at ~250 words per page - so trying to change that through your formatting won't really work).

    BUT if you're aiming for traditional publishing, as a newbie, those lengths aren't just arbitrary; they're economic.

    See, there's a set range of prices that publishers can charge while still making a profit (remember, 50% of cover price goes to the bookstore, the other 50% is split between the publisher, the author and the agent), and they have a lot of costs that need to be covered out of the money they make.

    If a book is too long, it means that it may not be able to be printed and bound on standard machines and needs to be done by a specialist, which costs more. It will also be a much heavier weight that needs to be shipped to the bookstores, which also costs more. It also means that the editing process takes much longer, as does the proofreading. All in, this can double the cost of what each book takes to produce, but the market won't allow you to sell a book twice average length for twice average price. You may be able to put an extra 10-20% on there, but you're simply not making the money back at such razor thin margins unless you're J K Rowling or George R R Martin (at which point you can do whatever the hell you want).

    If a book is too short, there are a different set of issues. If you release a pamphlet of a book, customers will not buy it at the normal price point, and will expect some money off. Now that's sort-of fine when all you're having to pay for is the cost of the printing and distribution, since those prices come down accordingly. The trouble is with the static overheads - whether your book is 30k words or 400k words, you still have to pay the same amount for things like cover art, ISBN registration, legal services, promotion and marketing, etc. etc. and if you have to slash your price down to what customers are willing to pay, then you're not making back the money to cover those costs.
     
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  19. psychotick

    psychotick Contributor Contributor

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    Hi Terobi,

    I'm well aware of all those issues. But we live in a different age. An age where ebooks sell very well, and for most indies, at a greater rate than paperback. Many of those costs don't matter to digital books. Likewise you can self publish, and if you are willing to put in the effort and the time and expence, do a good job of it.

    So with that in mind do you want to risk the artisitic integrity of your book by cutting out words or chucking them in to meet a standard which has nothing to do with the quality of the work? Or do you want to write the best book you can, the one that is your story told your way, and then if it's too long or too short for an agent / publisher to bite at, put it out as you see it best meets your vision?

    Look, I've published books everywhere from 50k to 250k, and I'm proud of them all. I've put out books that are so far off any accepted genre - eg an exploration of certain philosophical paradoxes - to ever sell. But I can do it, and I'm proud of it. I've also trade published, and that went well too.

    We live in an age where we can do unprecidented things, and where what should perhaps be the most important thing to any author is no longer conforming to the demands of the publishing industry, but rather to the demands of our own vision.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  20. Selbbin

    Selbbin The Moderating Cat Staff Contributor

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    That's a good way to do it. Put it all in now and then scale it back.
     
  21. Selbbin

    Selbbin The Moderating Cat Staff Contributor

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    That's another reason why page count, as you know, is irrelevant: for an ebook readers can change layout, font size, font etc, making it impossible to know how many pages it will be for each setup.
     
  22. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    e-books are significant but that doesn't mean it makes sense to voluntarily remove one's book from the print market without a damn good reason.

    And too often, length is not a good reason. How many times have we all encountered a new author claiming that not a single word can be cut from her masterpiece, and then read the work and found it bloated and in serious need of a hard edit? For me, many times.

    If a work absolutely can't be cut, then it can't be cut. But there are a whole lot of steps to be taken before we reach that ultimate conclusion.
     
  23. terobi

    terobi Senior Member

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    Of course e-books and self-publishing can be as long or short as you like - in fact, as I understand it, series of short books released very rapidly is pretty much how you win self-publishing e-books.

    That's why I specified that that information is important if you're aiming for traditional publishing.

    Too many people just point at these numbers as if they're arbitrary numbers that everyone should just feel free to ignore, so I was just pointing out that there are actual, real-world reasons that those wordcounts tend to be what agents and publishers will pick up. It's certainly worth understanding why, don't you think?
     
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  24. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    It's also good to note that especially if you're writing in a specific genre, the readers of that genre will often have an expectation and preference for length. That applies even if you're self-publishing, since most book listings will state the number of pages even for an ebook. I don't know many romance readers looking for a quick fix on a Sunday afternoon who are going to pick up an 800 page monster for their Kindle. At the same time, unless you're Chuck Tingle most readers are going to find it hard to justify paying even $0.99 for a 25-page book that they can finish in 20 minutes.

    If selling books isn't a high priority for an author, than by all means ignore advice geared towards marketability. But for me, I like to sell as many books as I can to as many readers as I can.
     
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