New Year? Time to clean house, err manuscripts!

clean your manuscript

by | Jan 3, 2018

Last Updated:
Jan 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

Something about the date change inspires all of us to make resolutions and get our act together. And while that motivation has a hold of you, now is a great time to not only think about your writing goals for 2018, but also to take a look at what you’ve written.

I went a few years before I cracked open my original upload files and was appalled by what I saw. Broken links, missing info on new books, and outdated information riddled the front and back matter. Not to mention that formatting requirements had changed and what had been top notch four years previously now looked horrible. How were people even reading this?

What is worse every outdated link is a potential lost sale.

Perhaps the biggest question is how were readers still picking up my older books, but how were they finding my new website and learning about all of my new books?

So now, once a year I scroll through my book files and make sure everything not only still looks good but also to make certain everything still links to the correct website.

Are you ready to tackle your existing book files? Great! Here are a few things to check for to get you started.

clean your manuscript

Books Written

Have you written any new books? Do you have any books marked as coming out at a certain date (now passed) or links to sign up for news on upcoming releases?

Add in new books and links to where readers can find more information such as the book/series page on your website or directly to your author page on retailers. Make sure signup links to your newsletter still work or add one in if you haven’t added one before.

Table of Contents

Make certain all the links to book chapters work and are correct. Sometimes you just don’t see a small error the first time you upload. Now is the perfect time to look at things will a fresh set of eyes – sort of like editing.

clean your manuscript

Have any readers sent you errors or misspellings? If you are super pro-active, you might have fixed them by now. But often writers simply keep lists and plan on doing an update… soon.

Do the update now and wipe the list off your computer and mind.

clean your manuscript


Has your job or website changed? Have you added new social media sites or dropped old ones? Update where readers can find you, why you write, and what you are working on.


Do you share chapters on the next book in a series or what you are working on in the back of your book? Now is the time to make sure the chapters link to the correct book or switch things out to a new series if that is what you want to feature. This is a great place to give your readers a sampling of your best, newest work!

clean your manuscript

Update Your Books!

Once a year (at the least) is a great target for doing updates on your existing books. While information becoming outdated in a print book is expected, ebooks are digital files. They are something within your control. You just need to take the time to update them.

Your books should have relevant information!

It is important so they stay relevant, still look good, and work to market you and your new books to new readers.

It is nice to imagine you’ll update your old files as you launch your next book when you KNOW it is time to update the front matter. But that is already a crazy time and often reformatting another book (or three or…) ends up on the back, back burner. Get it done while you are riding the New Year motivation wave and can focus on doing a great job.

Your readers will thank you!

Have you read a book and found old information and broken links? Did it annoy you? Or have you checked your old books and realized you’d been sending readers to the wrong place? Let me know in the comments!

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Written by: Autumn

Autumn is a best selling indie author, conservationist, & world traveler with plans for many more adventures both real and fantastical! She is currently settled in the wilds of Maine with her small dragonish dog and husband, searching for a portal to another world.

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