Using Google Docs to write MS? Input from NATHAN??

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vacuumqueen
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Using Google Docs to write MS? Input from NATHAN??

Post by vacuumqueen » March 31st, 2010, 2:33 am

I am done outlining and creating my characters and am now ready to begin the actual writing of my next project. Since I have multiple computers, both Mac and PC, I don't want to use Word and memory sticks to move about and write. I would love to just sit down at any computer and use Google Docs. For those who don't know about it, it keeps your work online and you can use any computer to simply start up where you left off.

BUT, I know that many agents like to receive their partials and fulls in Word so that they can read them in their KINDLES. I suppose I'm writing with the goal of getting a full requested, so it is pretty pointless not having a word doc to send to them.

Has anyone out there found success with Google Docs for their manuscripts?

And to NATHAN, if you read this, what do YOU think of this approach? Assume it'll be formatted correctly. What you'd receive is an online link to arrive at my work. Thoughts?

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dahosek
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Re: Using Google Docs to write MS? Input from NATHAN??

Post by dahosek » March 31st, 2010, 3:04 am

I doubt that most agents would respond kindly to any link to read the MS.

Another approach to moving files between computers easily is dropbox (http://www.dropbox.com/) which gives you a directory on your computer(s) which is automatically synced between them. Then all you have to do is remember to close the file when you're done on one computer before editing on the other.

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Using Google Docs to write MS? Input from NATHAN??

Post by Nathan Bransford » March 31st, 2010, 1:42 pm

I think it's fine to write it in whatever program you want, but especially since many agents read manuscripts on e-readers they're going to want to receive it in a .doc or .rtf file. You can convert files from Google Docs though.

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mmcdonald64
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Re: Using Google Docs to write MS? Input from NATHAN??

Post by mmcdonald64 » March 31st, 2010, 5:21 pm

You can write your manuscript on google docs and then download it to your own computer. It will download as MS Word or rtf. However, be aware that you may end up with funky formatting and extra spaces when you download or copy and paste. I used google docs for my manuscript because it was handy to have it available both at home and at work, plus I was able to add my betas as collaborators. That allowed them to post comments, highlight places, and not have to deal with emailing files back to me. Sometimes, I could see my beta on at the same time as I was, and that was great realtime discussion. But, like I said, the formatting gave me fits when I finished and had to convert it to Word.

They now have a function where you can upload your entire manuscript to Google Docs and it looks like a PDF file. When I saw it, and how great it looked, I thought it might be something agents would be interested in. They could just have a googledocs addy they give out when requesting fulls, and no worry about getting viruses. Not sure about the editing features though.

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Using Google Docs to write MS? Input from NATHAN??

Post by Nathan Bransford » March 31st, 2010, 5:26 pm

Yeah, I don't like receiving manuscripts as PDFs because I like to make comments on the document as I'm reading and like to read on e-readers and the formatting doesn't always make it. I'm a .doc and .rtf kind of guy.

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Matthew MacNish
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Re: Using Google Docs to write MS? Input from NATHAN??

Post by Matthew MacNish » March 31st, 2010, 8:28 pm

I would not suggest Google docs to write a MS. It does funny things to formatting when converting or even copy pasting into and out of several programs. I own a Mac and PC at home and work on a PC at work (only during lunch I swear). MS word exists for both and sometimes it's a little funny opening a document with crazy section breaks, formatting or heavy use of images in the same program on a different OS, but it usually is pretty good about it. Personally I suggest the office 2003 version (.doc) over 2007 (.docx) but others would probably disagree. Also as Nathan mentioned .rtf file format is a great way to make your document universally (nearly) compatible.

As far as skipping the USB key just email your MS to your gmail everyday (it's smart to back it up anyway) and that way you can always have access to it at all times. Someone probably knows a way to make such syncing automatic, but that person is not me.

vacuumqueen
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Re: Using Google Docs to write MS? Input from NATHAN??

Post by vacuumqueen » April 1st, 2010, 1:39 am

Thanks Nathan and everyone for your input. I was thinking that Google Docs does have beta reader benefits for sure, but I think I'll stick to Word like I've done in the past and then maybe do the backup on G Docs. Or...I suppose I have my Mac Cloud I could put it on. Either way, Word it is until I hear of major acceptance from the agent world.

Thanks!

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mmcdonald64
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Re: Using Google Docs to write MS? Input from NATHAN??

Post by mmcdonald64 » April 1st, 2010, 9:48 am

vacuumqueen wrote:Thanks Nathan and everyone for your input. I was thinking that Google Docs does have beta reader benefits for sure, but I think I'll stick to Word like I've done in the past and then maybe do the backup on G Docs. Or...I suppose I have my Mac Cloud I could put it on. Either way, Word it is until I hear of major acceptance from the agent world.

Thanks!
You could do the back-up on google docs where you upload it, but uncheck the box where it asks if you want to convert it to google doc format. That way, it uploads just like you have it on your computer and looks like a pdf. You can't edit it on google like that, but if you ever need it, you can easily re-download it to your computer. You can also print it from google docs. That's what I'm doing with my current WIP. That way, I can keep it safe, and not have to deal with the weird formatting of google docs.

turtlesoupapples
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Re: Using Google Docs to write MS? Input from NATHAN??

Post by turtlesoupapples » April 3rd, 2010, 6:58 pm

I second the nomination for Dropbox (as dahosek suggested). I LOVE Dropbox and use it constantly.

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