Author Tips: What to Submit with Your Final Manuscript

The following is a guest post by Associate Editor & Copy Manager Erika Spelman on a few things you shouldn’t forget and need to be submitted at the same time as your manuscript.

It must be a relief for an author to get a manuscript in shape and ready to be submitted for publication. Once it is submitted to your editor here at AMACOM, it then goes through the copyediting, typesetting, and proofreading cycles, which are supervised by your associate editor. We associate editors love getting manuscripts that are truly complete–that is, they contain all of the things that are often left till the last minute. Here are a few sometimes-overlooked items your manuscript should include (if applicable) when it is submitted to your editor.

A manuscript is not considered complete for submission until all necessary permissions are accounted for. A description of the kinds of things that require permission can be found in your author guidelines. If you leave obtaining the permissions for last, you run the risk of having to cut material later on (not to mention incurring the wrath of your associate editor).

It is not a good idea to surprise your associate editor with a preface after the manuscript is in copyediting. A preface should be read by the copyeditor, and copyeditors have deadlines. Moreover, the associate editor bases his or her instructions to the designer of the interior of the book based on an estimate of the manuscript’s length, and a preface added later will skew those calculations.

If you intend to include a dedication, do it now, before you forget! Think how moved those loved ones will be when they open the finished book.

Once again, page count estimates must be taken into account. It is important to include your acknowledgments with the manuscript (although it is always acceptable to add your associate editor, copyeditor, or proofreader to them later on!).


Forewords sometimes take longer to obtain, as they are written by other people who may want to see the completed manuscript before they begin writing. However, let your associate editor know to leave enough pages for one (usually two or four), and make sure to settle on a date for its submission.

This list is not comprehensive but is intended to emphasize that, really, everything that is going to go in the book should be submitted at the same time (except perhaps for a foreword, which should come as soon as possible).

Happy writing!

Erika Spelman is an associate editor and copy manager at AMACOM. She shepherds books through the production process, helps set house style, and serves as a resource regarding style, word usage, and grammar for the company. Prior to joining AMACOM, Erika worked as a principal manuscript editor at West Group and as a proofreader at Counsel Press. For freelance copyediting and production opportunities, visit the AMACOM Books website.

See earlier blog posts from Erika including: Erika on the Noble Art of Proofreading and Erika on the Top Ten Copyediting Mistakes.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s