1. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    I wonder (typesetting)

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by tcol4417, Jul 28, 2009.

    Is there any need to format your workspace to look like a book for the publisher's benefit or do they take care of that for you?

    Looking at everything on an A4 sheet looks fine and dandy, but after reducing the page dimensions to that of the "average paperback" (110mm x 178mm) and rescaling the font and margins it looks...

    well, rubbish.
     
  2. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    When you submit, you use standard manuscript format, which is:

    • 12 point Courier New
    • A4 page
    • 1 inch margins on all sides
    • double spaced
    • page numbers in top right corner

    If you want to see a specific example, look here.
     
  3. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    Many thanks.

    I was wondering - if a mod happens to read this - can we have a sticky set up for the kinds of questions that get asked a lot?

    Just a self-titled FaQ containing basic publishing etiquette?

    Cheers
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    We have to put a limit on stickied threads. There are a LOT of frequently asked questions, most of which deserve their own threads.

    I'll give some thought to this one though. It IS frequently enough asked that I have a template response. :)

    It's a sign of an amateur to submit a manuscript that is typeset the way you think it should appear in print. Manuscript format is designed for easy, standardized reading and to leave room for the publisher/editor to insert editing marks and other notes. It is in single-sided format so the publisher can take additional notes on the back, and so he or she does not have to flip pages. It is unbound for the same reason, and that requires that pages be numbered and labelled. The editor will NOT wish to have to put them back into order, but some pages mya become scrambled when he or she starts looking over the MSS.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    cog is right... pay attention!

    only thing i'd argue is the header info... it should contain only the author's last name and key word/s of the title, not the full deal of both, as he stated... so, for the first numbered page [first page never has a header or page #] of 'All's Well that Ends Well' it would be typed like this:

    Shakespeare / All's Well / 2
    [at top right margin, not at left or in the middle]
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    True, I should have said last name, and something like condensed title. in all caps. My titles tend to be one or two words anyway. And yes, the title page is not numbered, nor does it display the header - it's unnecessary because the title page contains the full title and author's full pen name.

    A typical title page will be double-spaced, begin witj four blank lines, the full title (centered), a line containing the word by, amd a line containing the author's full pen name e.g.:
    The corresponding header for the first page would look something like:
    Short stories and poems do not normally have a separate title page. The same information goes at the top of page 1 instead. However, follow the individual publisher's guidelines, as always.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    cog, of course a title page [if you have one, though you wouldn't have one for anything but a book ms] is not numbered... but it must contain the author's contact info at upper left and the word count at upper right, with the title placed half-way down, not just 4 spaces from the top...

    and for short stories, articles, and other works with no title page, the contact info must be on the first page, with title also beginning halfway down, by line a double space below that and text beginning two double spaces below the by line...

    numbering must only start w/ page 2 when contact info is on page 1... there should never be a number '1' in a header, unless a title page is the first page of the ms... that's standard ms format...

    and even novels don't have to have a title page...

    also, the title does not go in all-caps in the header, or anywhere else...
     
  8. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    further question: How do you work chapter breaks and character speech indentations into the manuscript?

    Do you start a new page for new chapters?

    Do you indent a character's dialogue further or simply leave it as is (assuming you follow the 1" as advised by Banzai's link)?

    Edit: Never Mind - he's got other examples there too.

    Good link =D
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...if you mean line breaks within a chapter, you place a single # in the center of the line and leave no empty lines...

    dialog is merely indented .5", the same as paragraphs... to do that, you only have to hit the 'tab' key, which should be set for a standard indent...

    yes... that allows editors to hand around a chapter, if necessary...

    see above... all indents are the same, except for when you need to insert a block of text, such as a letter that's being read by a character... in which case, both margins of the block quote will be indented...
     
  10. tonten
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    tonten Senior Member

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    I read somewhere that it is standard to have all chapter titles in all caps, bold, and obviously, centered.

    Is this true for it being standard or is it dependant on publisher's/agent's/or personal guideline?
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Always check the publisher's guidelines. They override te standards for a particular submission to that publisher. But the standard for a title is no bolding, mixed case, and centered horizontally. If you have both a chapter number and title, put them on separate lines:
    William Shunn has a very good website containing a wealth of information about manuscript format. Here is his page on manuscript format for novels:
    William Shunn: Manuscript Format: Novel Format
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto that!
     

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