Posts Tagged ‘Manuscript formatting’

Writing Wednesday/ Manuscript Formatting

Every Wednesday I share some of the things I have found that worked well for me and some that didn’t work so well on my journey to publication, marketing and publishing again.  The sort of stuff I wish somebody would have told me back then…

Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

 

Formatting Your Manuscript

 

I will never forget the relief and at the same time the sheer terror I felt when I typed The End on my first manuscript. When I received my first request for the full manuscript from an agent I was so excited, until I saw her instructions for manuscript formatting. My manuscript was already finished. I used a fancy font, fancier chapter headings and I included photos and illustrations. I did not follow that agents instructions and sent it off to her as it was. Within two-hours I received an e-mail saying thank you but no thank you.

 

Ouch.

confused woman

 

No matter which type of publishing route you choose to take your manuscript will need to be professionally edited (by a book editor) and it will need to be formatted in standard publishing form.  While this is the business standard keep in mind each agent and or publisher may have their own specific instructions for submissions. Follow their instructions carefully.

 

 Standard Formatting:

 

On the first page, top left place your name and contact information. Use your real name here not a pen name. Add your full address, phone number, e-mail and website URL.

 

On the top right put the title of your book and under the title put your word count, rounded to the nearest thousand.

 

Halfway down the page in the center, put your first chapter title- hit enter twice and put your name or a pen name if you are using one. This page is not numbered.

 

 

Use a one inch margin on all sides.

 

 Use a standard twelve-point font such as Times New Roman, Ariel or New Courier.

 

Use a header on each page that includes on the top left of the page your last name/ the book title in all caps/ and the page number on the top right of the page. Use forward slashes to separate your name and book title.

 

Start each chapter on its own page ½ to 1/3 of the way down the page. The chapter number and chapter title should be bold and in capital letters.

 

Indent five-spaces for each new paragraph.

Writers Clock

 

Double space your entire text.

 

Use only one space in between sentences.

 

Scene breaks should be marked with a single # sign- aligned left.

 

Start each chapter on a separate page.

 

When I wrote my first book I had no idea that when using word you can track your changes and that word will automatically add your name/book title and page number if you use the formatting/header feature. I also didn’t know that there was a find and replace feature that you can use if your main characters name is Lilly and you had a revelation that her name should be Jenny. Word will find every Lilly for you and replace it with Jenny. I felt like such a dummy.

Quote Writing Ann Rice Make a fool

 

 

Do you have any formatting tips?

 

Keep writing,

 

Doreen

 

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