Writing is just part of the work for an author. And while you (the author) can see your story in print, it doesn't always translate professionally or as concisely as you may think.
Jaymah offers services help you get the best results for all your hard work.
One of the questions I’m often asked by novice writers is, ‘What is a manuscript’? Fair question, if you aren’t familiar with the industry lingo. A ‘manuscript’ is another name for the document (eg MS Word document of PDF) that will become your novel.
When preparing to publish your work, there are several different assessments that should be considered. A ‘manuscript assessment’ covers things like the story’s structure, how the characters develop through the story, how the plot plays out, pace, setting, consistency, strengths and weaknesses. It does not cover things like grammar, spelling and punctuation.
So why have your manuscript assessed, I hear you ask? Because, how the words on the page appear to the author can be very different to how they read to the audience. For example, you may be writing an historical fiction novel set in Barcelona, Spain. You – the author – have been there. You know the El Born district is an old area within the city, the laneways are narrow, streets cobbled, buildings aged, and people dry their clothes on a clothes line outside their apartment windows overhanging the pedestrians below. Your story reads:
Catelina walked quickly down the passeig, anxious to deliver the message entrusted to her. She ducked and weaved her way through people until she reached her destination before the weather turned.
You, the know that in 1635 the passeig was a residential area, Catelina ducked and weaved her way around the excrement and rubbish the residents emptied into the street, that children played in the unmade road, washing drying formed a canopy above and varying aromas assaulted her nose.
A manuscript assessor will read be able to point out what detail is missing. Can the reader see the setting? Is it clear or a little confusing? Does it set the desired tone?
Here’s an example of another way to write that passage.
Walking quickly down the dim passeig, Catelina jumped small puddles and avoided the scraps that lay in the street, thrwon downw from the crowded residences. The narrow path, bordered by tall homes, threw shadows on the bedding and clothing that whipped and rustled overhead in the blustery weather.
Proof reading is a type of editing. You’ll hear the terms editing, copy editing, line editing, proof reading…the list goes on. They are all slightly different and recommend you do your research to understand the differences.
What we’re calling copy editing/proof reading is a bit of a hybrid between the two. This service covers spelling, punctuation, general grammar, tenses (the copyediting part), general structure of manuscript (formatting) and suitability for audience (the proofreading part).
After identifying your intensions, we will scour the document using MS Word to ‘track changes’ and ‘comment’ on possible changes to improve the manuscript. General feedback will accompany the return of the manuscript but most of the editing will be intext.
Formatting for Self-Publication
There are tricks and tips when publishing a manuscript that you can learn by doing a university degree in Publishing and Professional Writing (as I did), watching YouTube clips, which will give you the broad brush strokes, or invest in professional software such as Adobe InDesign or a free version of Scribus. All great options! However, dealing with the ‘orphans’ and ‘widows’ and other requirements to produce a more professional novel takes time and effort.
Your job is to write the best story you can and iron out the wrinkles with editing and redrafting/reworking. Once you are happy with your manuscript, Jaymah can format it and create the file need to self-publish.
The cost of the service varies depending on several factors:
- manuscript is text only
- graphic images or pictures to be included
- images to be colour or black and white
- number of pages to be formatted
Complete the form below to make an initial enquiry.
If self-publishing is the route you’ve chosen to take, from formatting for publishing, through to displaying your novel in our online bookstore and distribution channels. This service is an extension of Formatting for Publishing or a standalone service.
As an extension of Formatting for Publishing, your completed manuscript will be uploaded to our printing specialist, an ISBN purchased (or bring your own) and made available for sale on to a global audience through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Ingrams, Gardners, Google Play, Apple Books, Kobo, Libri, Scribd and the Jaymah online bookshop.
As you, the author, retain all copyright, you are free to pursue other avenues for sale, including local bookstores or personal websites.
For further information and to set up a meeting to discuss further, complete the following form
Advanced Information (AI)
When submitting your manuscript to a traditional publishing house, you aren’t just trying to sell a manuscript, you are also selling your knowledge. Many publishers want to be reassured you know what you’re talking about. It also makes their job easier when trying to ‘sell’ you and your work to bookstores.
An AI gives extra information about your novel a bit like a synopsis, but a bit different. A synopsis gives a brief run through of the story; who the characters are, what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, when they’re doing it, where they’re doing it and how they’re doing it. However, an AI compares your story with others in the market.
Mentoring covers all manner of things, from working with people where English is a second language or school students for one-on-one help with English, to working with writers – novices and experienced – to say what they’re wanting to say.