It's Tuesday today, however, which means a TIP, and I have a great one from Lisa Nowak. Please visit her blog, The Tao of Webfoot, after you give this a read!
Formatting and Binding Manuscripts
It's helpful to look at your manuscript in different formats when editing, but 300 unsecured pages can be tough to maneuver through. They're also a pain for beta readers to deal with. For those reason, once I've done my second draft, I make bound copies. I bought a duplexing printer (Brother HL 5250DN) so I can easily print double-sided. (Warning: duplexing printers have lots of extra moving parts, so it's wise to cough up a few bucks for a warranty.) I reduce the size of my font, set my line spacing at 1 1/2 and my margins at .8 inches, and eliminate all space between chapters. This cuts a 300-page manuscript by nearly half. Since you're printing on both sides, you wind up with only about 75 sheets of paper. I make covers out of heavy paper, printing the title on the front and my contact info on the inside. Then take the manuscripts to an office supply store for coil binding.
My betas really like reading a manuscript in this format. After going over their comments, I transfer the suggestions I like to my working copy. This copy also makes editing easy, as it's simple to maneuver through (I use tabs to mark each chapter) and the different formatting makes it easier to spot typos. When it's time to transfer the edits to my computer, I simply put a checkmark on the hard copy beside the ones I've completed. By using different colored pens for each edit, I can re-use my working copy several times before I need to print a new one.
Love this tip, Lisa! I bet the thrill of binding a draft for betas and read-throughs gives you extra motivation to finish. Do you ever add a cover? Thanks for the tip!