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Nearly every publisher, no matter how big or small, has guidelines for manuscript submissions. Green Hill Publishing is no different. Read this blog and learn about our submission guidelines and how to use our templates. 

1. Why do you have submission guidelines?

Green Hill have developed submission guidelines to simplify the process of bringing your manuscript into our design software for typesetting. It ensures that we have the same understanding of your content as you do. Our designers can then focus more on the readability and design of the book. Having a submission guideline makes sure nothing gets lost in translation and can help cut down the need for design revisions, making the process smoother and often faster. 

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2. What happens if I submit my manuscript with incorrect formatting?

If you submit your manuscript without using our template and style guide, or if you have incorrectly used the template and style guide, we will flag this with you and give you a couple of options moving forward. 

The first option is to allow you to reformat the manuscript and submit a new version to Green Hill. This gives you the chance to correct it yourself and ensure that everything is formatted in the way you are happy with. 

The second option is for one of Green Hill’s Microsoft Word specialists to go through your manuscript and format it. This is done at an hourly rate and will be extra on top of your publishing package. It’s also good to note that, in the case of complex manuscripts (i.e. business books, textbooks, etc.), the specialist styling your manuscript may misinterpret headings etc in your book. 

Of course, if you are having any trouble understanding the template, or you can’t work out what the most suitable option is for your book, contact us so we can guide you. 

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3. How to use Green Hill’s Word Template and Styles Guide

3.1 Using the Word Template

When you open the word template from your Green Hill Submission Guideline Documents folder, it will look mostly blank. 

Firstly, what you’re going to do is to click “Enable Editing” in the banner up the top of document. This will allow you to make changes in the document. Then, you must get into the settings to set the document up properly to allow for the formatting. Go to “File” and click on “Options”. 

How to change advanced option settings in word

This will bring up a pop-up. From there, go to “Advanced,” scroll down to “Cut, copy, paste,” and change “Pasting between documents” to “Merge Formatting” and click “OK.” 

How to change advanced option settings in word

Now that the settings have been successfully altered, you need to open your manuscript document up in a separate window and copy and paste all of the text. If you’re comfortable with keyboard short-cuts, use Ctrl+A to highlight all of the text. 

Alternatively, if you’re not comfortable with short-cuts, you can use the “Select All” button. First, go to the Home tab and find the “Select” dropdown. Then click on “Select All”. 

How to select all in word

If you’ve written your manuscript in multiple files, open them one at a time, select and copy all the text, and paste it into our word template in the correct order. It’s important to note the last part of those instructions as the team at Green Hill will assume you’ve ordered your manuscript correctly. 

Next, you’ll need to open your styles pane. To do this, go to “Home,” and click the downwards arrow in the styles section. The Styles Plane will open to the right of the screen.

How to open the styles pane in word

You’ll then need to ensure that you are only seeing the styles that we have recommended as Word has its own inbuilt styles that we don’t need. To do this, go to the style pane and click “Options,” then choose “Recommended” from the first dropdown menu and click “OK.” 

Now it’s time to use the styles to format your manuscript! 

3.2 Using the Styles Guide

For fiction authors, applying styles to your manuscript should be straightforward as you shouldn’t have too much differentiation of text in your manuscript. However, for authors with complex manuscripts like business books, some non-fiction books, textbooks, etc. the process of deciding which style to use can get a little tricky.  

At the end of the day, it is okay if you choose the wrong style so long as you are CONSISTENT. 

Keep a notepad next to you and write down what styles you’re using for particular elements of your text. This way, if you’ve chosen the wrong style, the team at Green Hill will be able to switch it out for a more appropriate one much easier. 

If you’re not familiar with styles in Microsoft Word, don’t be daunted! We will go through how to use them step-by-step and if you still don’t quite understand, there is an instructional video you can watch. 

Firstly, open up the Styles Guide document from your Green Hill Submission Guideline Documents folder. It’s a PDF which has a lot of information about how to set up your document for styling, how to use styles, and a styles A-Z. Right now, we’re interested in the Styles A-Z chapter, so skip down to there. 

your styles guide

The Styles A-Z chapter runs through every style in your template and what it is typically used for. As your final design of your book won’t look like your formatted manuscript, don’t worry too much about the look of the styles. When deciding on a style, it’s always best to choose based on their described use.  

When getting ready to use styles, it’s a good idea to either print out the Styles A-Z chapter or to have your screen split between these two documents. This is so that you can view both at the same time, allowing you to quickly reference the styles A-Z document while you format your manuscript.  

viewing two documents on one screen

Have a scroll through the different styles and make a note of which ones look appropriate for your manuscript. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to finally get formatting! 

To apply a style, highlight the paragraph you want to change and then scroll through the styles pane until you find the appropriate style, then simply click on it. Go through the whole manuscript and do this for every paragraph. 

select the text to change the style
Before and after formatting your document

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4. Where do I find the submission documents?

On our company website, we have a webpage dedicated to submitting your manuscript. It briefly details the steps that need to be undertaken and also features a helpful video tutorial that will walk you through the process.

You can find this webpage here:

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