Formatting Manuscripts

When submitting a manuscript to an editor, it really helps if there’s a standard to how the manuscript has been formatted. Too many writers submit their manuscript in odd fonts, colours, margins and more. That means the editor has to change these even before beginning the editing process. That’s needless extra work we’re burdening the editor with and – it costs us writers money because we’re paying them to fix that. Want to save money?

Do the following:

  • 2.54cm (1 inch) margin on all sides
  • Single spaced if digitally submitted; double spaced if using a printed submission (we need space to write comments)
  • Use Format Paragraph to indent paragraphs the default 1.27cm (DO NOT use TAB or spaces to indent)
  • Title page with manuscript title and author name
  • Paginate from the first page of text, not the title page
  • New chapters on new pages, using PAGE BREAK
  • First paragraph of a chapter is not indented
  • Only 2 lines between chapter heading and first paragraph
  • 12 point font; Times New Roman or Arial; black (automatic)
  • Microsoft Word for digital submissions (Because everyone has it and so we can use Track Changes and Insert Comment.)
  • All chapters and other matieral in a single document

DO NOT:

  • Double space between sentences
  • Use carriage return (SHIFT + RETURN) after a paragraph, only RETURN
  • Leave a blank line between paragraphs
  • use Format Paragraph to put space before or after paragraph

Optional:

  • Put title and author name in the Header or Footer (dimmed gray)

 

Remember: Always check with the editor/agent/publisher beforehand. They may have their own specific guidelines. (And some are very picky.)

For those of you interested in using my editing services, please use the above list.

 

Need Help Formatting?

Have you already written up a document with formatting you no longer want? Don’t want to go thorugh an entire novel to fix each double space and tab? Try these:

Change Double Spaces after sentences to Single Spaces (in Microsoft Word)

  • Use FIND AND REPLACE
  • In the FIND field, type 2 spaces with the space bar (these will then become highlighted in the document)
  • Leave the replace field blank
  • Click REPLACE ALL

Remove TABs (in Microsoft Word)

  • Use FIND AND REPLACE
  • In the FIND field, use the drop down menu to select TABs (these will then become highlighted in the document)
  • Leave the replace field blank
  • Click REPLACE ALL

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

%d bloggers like this: