Congratulations! You and your team finished that manuscript! That is no small feat my friend. Not small at all! The meat and potatoes of the project is now plated. Unfortunately for us, the job is far from done. The stressful part is about to begin in fact! The correct to do list for us is lengthy, but let’s break it down a little and concentrate on the topic at hand. How do we give that final “OK” to a manuscript? What are we looking for exactly? Here are three things that you and I need to look for to make that final decision:
- Much of time time (if we are doing this right) us publishers have a contractually itemized to do list for the writers. Here is a good example of this. Total word count. Did the writer(s) meet the final word count? Did they get close? I personally break down the writing of the manuscript into several small achievable chunks which allows me to better pay attention to the small details. In the contract I enclose what the writing needs to be about. Did the writer stay on track? Is the final product something that will take only small changes to complete? Make sure that all the contract is fulfilled by the writer. That brings us to the next tip.
- I view the completed manuscript much like a skeleton (horror publisher reference). You need to make sure that the bones are there for the team to add to and manipulate. I make sure that I fully read the story several times through before sending the final payments and ending a contract. That being said, I completely understand that several people need to read through a manuscript in order to catch all the typos and improper sentence structures. With a limited amount of time for the writers to finish the story, it would be unfair for me to expect perfection. Heck, look at some of the blogs on this site that accidentally make their way out. They’re sometimes, eh, not so perfectly written at first. Alas, there is no editor for this blog. Just good ol ZHanny talking to his peeps. Make sure that the final product is something that you can foresee only taking a little effort to finish and correct.
- Finally random tip number three. What are the relations between you and the writer/ team member that just finished the contract? Is everyone content with the way the product turned out? It is vitally important to make sure that if the writer did a good job they are happy and set up for the future. This is especially true if you plan on re-hiring any previous contracts. Be genuine and appreciative. Leave a good review for them. I have never said anything negative about my staff nor do I plan to in the future when other publishers ask about my team. I feel my heart jump with happiness when they are specifically asked for. I always look forward to increasing the value of the writer’s worth/ value as you should to. What comes around, goes around.
There are certainly more than three tips on finishing up a manuscript. What is your advice on what to look for or what to do before closing up that contract? Let me know in the comments down below or on my social media!
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