When turning in copy to a client it should always be printed on high quality white paper. There should be absolutely no spelling errors and it should be perfectly typed. Simply use your word processing spell checker and double and triple check your copy after that. Use very large margins so your copy doesn’t have a crowded appearance and use 12-point Times New Roman for the font.
Before mailing your copy proofread every single piece of it. You are a professional and the people who are paying you expect to get their money’s worth. If you turn in a piece of copy with errors your client will more than likely never use you again. If possible after you proofread it have someone else proofread it also. It’s imperative that you make every possible effort to catch any mistakes in your copy.
There is really no standard format for handing in your copy manuscript except for what I’ve previously mentioned. The most important thing is that it looks professional, neat, organized, and clean (don’t hand a manuscript in that has weird margins or, God forbid, a coffee cup stain on it!)
When you send your copy via e-mail make sure you have the client’s correct email address. You don’t want to send it out and then come back later only to find that the email has returned back to you with a sending error. Make sure you attach your copy to the email as an attached file. Ask the company which formats they work in and then use that format to email your copy. You don’t want to email your copy to the client only to hear back from them that they couldn’t open the attachment on your email! This is very amateurish and can cause clients to never hire you again.
If you use snail mail instead of email then your copy should be sent in a 9-by-12-inch envelope. Something that you can do to prevent your copy manuscript from getting damaged is to stick a piece of hard cardboard in the envelope with the copy. This will prevent the copy from wrinkling or folding. Place a blank piece of paper on top of the copy and use a large paper clip to hold the paper to the cardboard.
A lot of beginners will ask if they need to send some sort of cover letter with the copy. This is not necessary because more than likely the client will know what it is. If you would like to send a cover letter anyway -with some additional information or something you think the client would like (added value)-then you should go ahead and do it.
If the client cannot accept email then the best alternative is to mail your copy through a service like UPS or Fed Ex. Use these services for their next day delivery capability and surprise your client by getting the copy to her a day early. Many clients will love this (you’d be surprised how often just doing something on time or a day early will impress the heck out of your clients). Try to avoid using first class mail because there would be a chance it wouldn’t get to your client on time. Avoid being late with your copy at all costs!!!
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