1. Neo
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    Neo Member

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    Formatting for a Publisher

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Neo, Jun 2, 2007.

    How do you properly format a manuscript for a publisher?
    I'm considering buying "Writing a Novel and Getting Published for Dummies" from Amazon. Anyone read it?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    When I saw this, I entered the search phrase "preparing Manuscript for publisher" onto Google. Here is a link to one page I located, but I'd recommennd looking at several.

    http://www.charlottedillon.com/ManuscriptPreparation.html

    Also, as this page suggests, look at the web site for each publisher you intend to submit to, as each one may have different guidelines and requirements.

    I've never submitted anything for publication, apart from to technical newsletters. But the answers are out there, and I'm sure more experienced authors on this forum will have their own suggestions to offer.

    Where guidelines differ, the publisher you are submitting to trumps all other sources.
     
  3. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with Cogito.

    Neo, if you're thinking of purchasing a book on writing simply to discover the formatting requirements for publishers, I think you're not going to get your money's worth.

    Most publishers (novels) that accept unsolicited manuscripts give some guidelines as to how they want it. Most magazines/ezines also give information on formatting.

    In general however:

    Double Space. Use a normal font (Times Roman or Courier, 12 point). Print on one side of sheet only. Place contact information on the first page of the manuscript. One inch margins minimum, some prefer 1.5 inch margins. Include header with title/name and page number.

    Examples:
    Tor (about half way down page): http://www.tor-forge.com/Faq.aspx

    DAW: DAW Books | Submission Guidelines

    Twilight Times: Subs - additional guidelines

    Baen: Baen FAQS Page

    Aberrant Dreams: Aberrant Dreams - Speculative Fiction

    The Sword Review (click on Formatting Practices): The Sword Review Submission Guidelines

    Hope those examples give you some ideas and direction.

    Terry
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    save your money!

    email me and i'll send you the great set of ms format guides that i send to all my mentees who also haven't a clue...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  5. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    I think most publishers have different formats... if you're unsure, ask them. I would think that'd be the correct way to go, anyway.
     
  6. Neo
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    Neo Member

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    Thanks everyone, but I'm not buying the book just for the formatting info!

    Your suggestions and help is all very much appreciated. Thanks!
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    publishers all pretty much agree on the basics... the only differences you may find are small ones, usually dealing with things other than the basics...

    basics:
    font style/pt size [courier or times new roman 12pt]
    margins [1-1.25"... left-aligned]
    double-spaced ms
    header w/ key word of title / author's last name / pg# [@ top right of page]
    pages left loose [no staplesor clips/binders of any kind]

    and a few other standards that the format guides i can send will show examples of... fyi, because they're basics that all writers are expected to know, many agents'/publishers' guidelines don't even mention 'em...
     
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  8. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    Really. Must be pretty standard then, I would guess.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yup!... they are...
     

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