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08.07.2011 15:44    Comments: 0    Categories: Manuscript  Writing Craft  Writing Tips      Tags: manuscript format  manuscript  format  

You've worked hard on your manuscript and now an editor has requested it. Whoopee!!!! Now get down to the nitty gritty and submit the cleanest copy possible. Follow these simple rules and your editor will love you for it!

Submission Guidelines


Start each chapter one third of the way down the page. Go down 7 lines - type "Chapter One" then line 8 is left blank and line 9 begins the story.

Use 20 or 24 pound paper.

Manuscript MUST be double spaced with each page numbered.

Do not print on both sides of the paper.

NEVER hole punch or bind your manuscript. Use metal clip binders or a single rubber band.

If you want something in Italics, underline it in the manuscript. It's easier on editor eyes and for the typesetters not to miss it.

Always include a cover sheet with your contact information, manuscript word count and the line you are submitting too.

How to Calculate Publishers Word Count

250 (the allotted number of words per page) X Number of pages= publishers word count

Word Count and Page Count


Word Count is the translation of page count into assumed number of words per page. If you used actual word count, instead of page count, you will end up with a lot more words than you are aiming for and will have a lot of editing and cutting ahead of you.

Each line of words is assumed to be ten words and is allotted space. You can have one word on the line or twelve - it doesn't matter. It's assumed to be ten words and that will never change in the publishing business.

Regardless of the computer program you use you should be able to average out close to 250 words a page. It will never be exact - well I shouldn't say never but usually it isn't - so just format the page right and don't worry about it.

General Settings

1-inch margins all around

Include a header, left justified. First line-title, second line--YOUR name, tab over until one tab from right corner, insert page number, third line-blank

Courier or Courier New 12, Times New Roman 14 - These fonts are know to yield the closest to 250 words per page.

Setting up in Microsoft Word

Indenting - Go to format pull down menu then click paragraph. On the indents and alignment tab, you have 3 fields for indents. The last one says 'first line', put in the value 0.3" If you manually indented you will have to select format, paragraph, then select all. Now go through the manuscript and look for any that are still indented at .5 and back them up to .3.

Line spacing - choose Exactly in the first box then 25 in the second box and that gives you 25 lines per page.

Click Line and Page Breaks Tab. Deselect everything except 'don't hyphenate'.


by Melissa Alvarez

 
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