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Question
Hi Susan
Thanks to your previous help, my manuscript is finished. I want to avoid having to print up another copy to send to the copyright people. Can I consider a CD of the work as a "copy". It sounds plausible to me, but their response to me was, "we prefer ---". What do you think?
Thank you,
Gene Ciliberti

Answer
Congratulations, Gene, on having finished your book!

I'm not sure who you are referring to when you say "copyright people" or "office." If you believe you have to send your work to someone to get it copyrighted, you don't - the minute it's rendered into some corporeal (transportable) form, it is automatically copyrighted. If, on the other hand, you are trying to get an ISBN number, you must furnish them with what they want. The same goes for a publisher.

I'm also not sure what you mean by "another copy." You obviously have an electronic copy, the first (original). Another copy I assume would be a hard copy (printed out). I would strongly recommend you print out a clean copy, arranged in the format found in the Chicago Manual of Style or some other, reliable manual. I would then recommend you take that copy to a printer and have several more copies made. I also think it would be a good idea to make copies on 2-3 CDs, if you have that capability, and keep them in several different places. It is almost impossible to have too many copies of a manuscript. For one thing, your computer may implode and you could lose ALL your work, or there may be a fire.

Many publishers will not accept electronic submissions, for the obvious reasons that it costs them money to print it out, and secondly, if the MS is clean enough (and expertly written so that no changes need to be made) they want a hard copy to make marks on, for the typesetter. If it is not clean (spelling, grammar, etc. mistakes) they will probably just reject it, unwilling to spend the money to have it edited. In any case, you probably will not be sending your MS to a publisher (very few, if any, accept unsolicited MS) but to an agent.

I hope this has helped. If it has, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high score over 225+ questions.

And good luck with your book!

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Susan Rand

Expertise

I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at http://pygmypress.com, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.

Experience

I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

Education/Credentials
BA degree in Written Communication

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