I heard the term from a client, she asked me if I prefer to receive the raw document or the manuscript (for hard copy book printing). Of course, I want to see the real layout so I can make the eBook almost the same as the hard copy book. Technically, a raw document is a material without any formatting, almost like a TXT file but its in MS Word. If a manuscript is intended for printing, it will take a lot of time making it “raw” and edit the file again to make it ready before ebook conversion to a certain ebook format.
When creating an ebook, I prefer MS Word Doc specially if the document will be converted to different multiple ebook formats. Don’t let what you saw on your MS Word window deceived you, most often than not if its the manuscipt for printing, the layout will be printed as it is. And when its converted to ebook, depends on the ebook format, the ebook output will be different.
Its a good idea to install certain ebook reader software to your computer to check on the layout if its perfect. If its possible to use mobile emulator to see the output on handheld device, the better. Its best if you can test the actual ebook on your mobile (if its a mobile ebook).
Am I making any sense? My apologies, I’m still not feeling well.