When an author is working with other professionals to prepare a book for publication, it is important to name the files appropriately to prevent them from getting lost, or the wrong version used. It’s good practice as a writer to save files periodically and to have backups. The author should always be responsible for their files – both manuscript and images used. Always send copies, and if originals are sent, do so with a return envelope for their safe return.
Naming the document ‘My Book.docx’ is unhelpful as editors might not be sure who the file belongs to. We often get submissions like this, and other equally unhelpful filenames.
Our convention is:
name of the book v1 AB.docx
where v1 is the version number, and AB is the author. Then it goes to CD, an editor, who adds one to the version number and changes the initials to show they dealt with it last, like this. CD sends her revised file back to the author, AB…
name of the book v2 CD.docx
…who works on it and sends it back to CD for further revisions…
name of the book v3 AB.docx
…and it’s returned to AB.
name of the book v4 CD.docx
The author, AB, sends it to EF for proofreading…
name of the book v5 AB.docx
…and when it comes back it’s got EF’s initials..
name of the book v6 EF.docx
…and so on.
Everyone can refer to a specific version by number, and know who handled it last.
Oh, and don’t name your file ‘Final’ – you might be surprised by the number of times this gets revised!
This is the naming convention we use at Wordcatcher. Whoever you work with, find out what their file management system is, so you are all on the same wavelength from the outset. It will avoid frustration in the long-term. It can be very frustrating to work on a document for hours, only to find it’s the wrong version.