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Writing Books/Feels like a dumb question at this point...


Hello Ms. Clamp,

   I think you are the the right person to help me.  I've
written a manuscrpt.  I use a Mac powerbook G4 to run MS WORD
for Mac.  I don't have a formal writing pedegree and am
currently learing the ins and outs of the publishing industry,
I've got query letters out there and have yet to get an agent to
look at my work, however, one agent asked me to send him a disk
with my MS on it.  This has led to my latest problem.  It
primarily has to do with the word processing aspect of novel
writing.  My questions have to do with submitting a disk
containing my MS to a prospective agent in a professional,
logical manner.  Is there a special program I need or does WORD
have this capability.  The following explains what I've done.  I
hope you can offer advice.  

   I have a feeling that there is a better way to package my
manuscrpt than the way I've done it.  I wrote my story in 27
individual chapters - each are a separate file.  Once each
chapter was written, rewritten, edited and polished, I placed
the chapter (file) into a folder that I set up on my desktop.  
So, now I've got my entire manuscript in one file.  I've created
a copy of the file and burned a read/write disk.  The disk has
all the files on it, but they are not in order, the reader would
have to search for each chapter -- for instance, chapter two is
not found below chapter one, etc.  I don't know why and have not
had any luck fixing this.

   I was wondering if there was a way to arrange all the
chapters (files) into a single main document, that allows the
reader to put disk into computer and view some kind of contents
page.  The reader could then hit the link to whatever chapter
they want to go to and begin -- professional and user

   One more issue:  How do I make the file a READ-only disk?

   I wish I knew the proper Word lexicon for what I want -- but
I think someone like you would know what I need and how to go
about setting up my files or at least help me with the proper
terminology to use to seek out assistance from a WORD pro.  

   Hope to hear from you soon.

Kindest Regards,

J.D. Lowes
Dallas, GA.

Hi, JD!

Actually, it's not a dumb question at all---and it's pretty easy to solve.

An agent or editor won't accept a folder with individual chapters. You're going to have to turn it into a single document.

Just open a new document and name it with the title of the book, plus your name. For example:


Then, open a second screen and cut and paste the contents of each individual chapter into the single document. Do a hard page return at the bottom of the chapter (CTRL + Enter) and make sure you give each chapter a new number. You'll have to reformat, of course, so that you don't have a bunch of page number commands or any other sort of text formatting that is unique to the individual file. You can go into "View" on the top bar and checkmark the "Formatting Commands" to look and see if there's anything strange that shows up throughout the document.

Each time you add a chapter to the single document, save it and then open another screen.  Once you have all the chapters in the document, go back to the top of the document, click "File" and go to "Page Setup" to make sure your margins are set to 1" all the way around.

Then go to "View" and click "Page Layout." That'll show you whether you have any other strange commands in the document, like odd centering of the text or multiple page numbers. If you do, you can find out on what page they begin and fix them internally on that page.

After that, save it again, close the program and reopen it. Open the file again and print it out once to be sure there's nothing else squirrely that only shows up on the printed page. If everything's okay, you'll have a single file that's the full manuscript. :)

Hope that helps, and feel free to ask any other questions if you get stuck.


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Cathy Clamp


I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.


I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

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