1. Josh57

    Josh57 New Member

    May 18, 2012
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    font size for writing a book

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Josh57, May 29, 2012.

    I have two questions. Does anyone know what font size I should use when I am writing with the goal of being published (I'm trying to see how much typing would fit on a mediaum size book page)? Or does anyone know if there is a standard font size that publishers use?

  2. Brittany Krysten

    Brittany Krysten New Member

    May 28, 2012
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    British Columbia, Canada
    I've heard that you should submit your MS with Courier New (Times New Roman is also acceptable) at 12pts. Also, a nice one inch margin on every side. Don't forget to double space. :)

    Make sure you check with the publishers/agencies. Sometimes they have specific requirements.

    Also, I'm sure there are many websites that could give you a more in depth tutorial on how to format everything.
  3. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
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    Massachusetts, USA
    William Shunn's site is a "must have" reference on manuscript format. You should use the advice given for your manuscript document templates. However, you should also check the posted submission guidelines for each publisher you submit to, and be prepared to make changes if necessary for that publisher's preferences. Fortunately, most publishers' preferences are pretty close to Shunn's recommendations.

    Page links:
    Novel manuscript format: http://www.shunn.net/format/novel.html
    Short story manuscript format: http://www.shunn.net/format/story.html

    In answer to your specific questions:
    1. Don't worry about page count. Publishers only deal with word counts. For most genres, publishers accept first novel submissions 80,000 to 120,000 words in length, with a strong preference for the 80,000 to 100,000 word range.

    2. All submissions should be in a 12 point serif font, preferably a monospaced font (all characters occupy the same width). The most commonly preferred fonts are Courier or Courier New. Text should always be black on a white background, whether in electronic form or hard copy.

    3. Manuscripts should be typed double-spaced, with a one inch margin on all sides. Each paragraph begins with a half inch first line indent, with no added vertical spacing between paragraphs.

    4. If you are submitting hard copy, print on one side only. Unless otherwise specified, pages should not be stapled, bound, or hole punched. Whether or not you submit hard copy, each page should have a header, top right, with your name, the story or book title, and the page number.

    Read the full articles for more details. In fact, bookmark them in your favorites for reference.
  4. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon
    shunn is also who i recommend, but i have to disagree with him on putting word count at bottom of cover page, instead of across from the contact info at top, which is what should be done, imo...

    and also about adding memberships to contact info... belonging to a writer's ass'n isn't really helpful, unless, like shunn, you're a 'full' [= w/ significant published credits] member of a prestigious one, such as his sfwa, or wga [the writers union]... putting anything else there would brand you a clueless amateur...

    plus, in order to cover all events, he has included 'part' and chapter titles, which can also lead new writers astray, since neither one is used for all novels, and chapter titles not for any but YA market ones and maybe some sci-fi/fantasy for a mixed age market...

    re the mention of times new roman, as an editor, i find it way too tiny and cramped for reading in large batches all day, every day, so i only recommend courier new, which is much easier on the agents'/editors' eyes and leaves more room for editing marks/comments...

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