We always prefer to receive text as a digital file in Word, set out and formatted as described here. However, some authors prefer to submit typed manuscripts, often a biography or a story that was begun in the days before computers, or perhaps historical documents of deceased relatives that form part of a new biography. Occasionally, we receive hand-written manuscripts, but will accept them only if they are written with a clear, easily readable hand.
If the original type is clean it is sometimes possible to scan the text with optical character reading software (OCR), which will convert the text into Word. Only rarely is this wholly successful and the process often misreads words and lines. OCR processing cannot handle columns, tables or special layouts. The scanned results always requires checking and correction, a long and costly process.
Therefore it is almost always preferable to have the manuscript retyped. We use professional typists who work fast and accurately. If necessary, we will put the author in direct contact with the typist to discuss any problems that might be revealed during transcription.
Once the transcription is complete, the new text must be checked by the client for errors. These will corrected by the typist.
The charges for transcription vary according to the condition of the original manuscript. Work that is difficult to read, has passages in dialect or foreign languages will clearly require more time to process. However, for manuscripts that are easy to work on, the transcription charge is approximately 1.2p per word.