What page did you say that was on?


And rightly so, too, until I learned to paginate my manuscripts before sending them anywhere.

Yes, kids! Put page numbers on your manuscripts before you submit them to an editor (or friend or writing group or whoever is going to see it next). Maybe you think that editors don’t drop manuscripts without any folders, clips, staples, or rubber bands to keep them from becoming a pile of paper that is now on the floor and has no hope of ever being in the right order EVER AGAIN. You would be WRONG.

This very typical Scrabble tray (when I’m playing with my mom) is what a manuscript looks like after it’s been dropped on the floor.


But at least that manuscript can be picked up and put back in order, right? Not if there are no page numbers on it. An editor hasn’t got a hope in hell of putting that back together in the right order. THIS HAS HAPPENED TO ME. Please, please, please paginate your manuscript. Easy as pie!

In Word for Mac, here’s how you do it:

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Then (you guessed it):

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The dialog box that appears will let you modify where and how the page numbers appear. As long as you choose somewhere to put your page numbers, your editor will be happy. We don’t care where the numbers are, as long as they’re on there somewhere.

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Et voila! “But Kimmy,” you may be thinking, “if it’s an electronic file, surely it doesn’t need to be paginated.” Yes, it does. And don’t call me Shirley.

Believe it or not, a lot of us Jurassic-age editors RILLY LIKE to work on paper. If we print off a manuscript with no page numbers on it, and then we drop it, that’s another 100 (or whatever) pages we need to print off again. And GAWD FORBID we’ve already done a ton of work on it.

When I receive an electronic manuscript that has no page numbers, believe me: I take the liberty and add them before I dot another “i”, Bob Cratchet.

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There! It’s just that danged easy. Please assume your editor is a complete klutz, as you will likely not be wrong about that. It would also be beyond wonderful if you put your name next to it, but one thing at a time here.

You’ve no idea how happy you’ll make your editor. It takes so little…

Since you’re here:

If you’d like to receive news about the new self-editing e-course I have in the works (and which will be available in mid-October), please feel free to sign up here. Thanks!

Kimmy BeachComment