Manuscript Formatting

September 8th, 2022 in Tools by April Michelle Davis 0

Writers may think that formatting their manuscripts with multiple fonts and text sizes makes those manuscripts look more appealing, but this actually creates more work for editors. When preparing a manuscript for submission, it should be as plain as possible. Copyeditors are focused on the words and do not need to be distracted by excess formatting. Designers will also want manuscripts in the basic form to build what they envision for the book. Be sure to keep in mind that certain publishers may have specific submission guidelines that you will need to comply with before sending your manuscript. Good overall pointers to follow are

  • use a standard font (Editorial Inspirations prefers Times New Roman)
  • keep everything, no matter what genre you are writing for, in a normal size font (Editorial Inspirations prefers 12 point font)
  • single space between sentences (double spacing is for typewriters, not computers)
  • double space the lines of the text
  • keep the format “Normal” (don’t adjust margins from 1″, use themes, or insert borders)
  • indent with the tab key, not by hitting the space bar numerous times
  • do not underline (use italics instead)
  • make sure you clear the document of any hidden elements before you submit it, such as track changes, hidden text, or updateable fields
  • if your manuscript needs to be organized into several files for submission, be sure to label them clearly (Editorial Inspirations prefers that each chapter be in its own file, along with a separate file for the front matter and one for the back matter).