How to write a manuscript for ready submission to any publisher is what you should be shooting for if you are looking to traditionally publish your book. Using a standard manuscript format as your baseline will help when you are ready to start sending it off because it is easy to make one or two changes to meet a publisher's requirements.
I came across many similarities between several different publishers when it came to how to write a manuscript and how it should be formatted for submission. I spent a little extra time and research and developed a simple guide to help create a manuscript for your fiction that gets it ready to the standard of most publishers, then with a little tweaking here and there based on their personal requirements, you can make quick changes and have it in the mail that same day. This is how I format my manuscripts prior to submission to traditional publishers or literary agents.
When writing a manuscript, you may think that these standards are pretty strange and make your book look bad, but don't worry about how it looks at this point. A publisher generally sends it to other entities who edit and format your book from the standard manuscript format into a book format that you are used to seeing in the bookstores during the publishing phase of your book.
NOTE: If you are self-publishing your own fiction, you can skip the manuscript writing process altogether and jump straight to formatting your book on your own.
1. You should use one inch margins all around your text on every page.
2. Use double spacing throughout the content of your manuscript. This makes it easier to edit and read. This is easy to do if you are using Microsoft Office Word programs as you can select all and set the spacing to two.
3. Do not use italics in your manuscript. The text you should be italicizing during the final published version should be underlined in your manuscript.
4. When typing your manuscript, spell out all numbers. Do not use numbers as numbers (4, 10 , or 25). They should be written as four, ten, or twenty-five.
5. Do not use the percent sign or dollar sign. Spell out "dollar" or "percent". That goes for the "&" (ampersand and) symbol too.
If you think your book is ready for a publisher, you need to review the basics above, put them in your manuscript, then learn how to write a manuscript with more advanced formatting. This can take some time, but gives your manuscript a fighting chance against the hundreds of other submissions they receive every month.
Many publishers have a particular format that they want your manuscript in when they receive it. Not all publishers want the same things, but after researching several publishers, I've noticed quite a few similarities that help you understand how to write a manuscript in a more standard format universal to most publishers. That way, it makes it a lot easier to make the final touches that are specific to each publisher.
Submission of a manuscript to some publishers can be a very tricky and improper submissions can immediately get your manuscript rejected. Ensure you review their set of formatting standards and guidelines for the specific company you will be publishing your fiction novel through prior to submitting your manuscript.
Follow a publisher's guidelines to the letter as this will help you avoid a definite rejection of your manuscript since if you can't follow directions, then who is to say you will follow their recommendations to sell more books after they do publish your work.
In researching how to write a manuscript, I put together most likely the closest match for most publishing companies out there. There may be a slight adjustment here and there, but for the most part, they are the same and it won't take much time to bring your manuscript up to speed and ready for submission.
The general format used by most companies as a standard is simple to understand and easy to achieve on any word processing program. Once you get your manuscript in that format, contacting a company and meeting their submission deadline in their format is very easy.
1. With manuscript format, your book should look as though you typed it on a typewriter. Always use Courier New size 12 font with all of your manuscript writing. This is the easiest font to read when you edit a book. This is also very easy to change if a publisher requires a different font, which a few of them do.
2. Do not submit a handwritten manuscript or one that has several different font types and sizes. They will get rejected.
3. Your text should be aligned to the left at all times. Remember, it has to look as though you typed it. Any new chapter titles or scene breaks may be centered on the page.
4. Use a high quality 8 1/2 x 11 inch plain white paper at 92 percent brightness and 20 weight. Do not use any specialty, fancy or colored paper for your manuscript. Only print out your manuscript on one side of this paper if you are going to print it. Don't print it unless a hard copy is required by a publisher. Most publishers will accept a soft (electronic) copy of your work nowadays.
5. Do not use staples or any other kind of binding instrument to hold your manuscript together. Just keep your pages in the proper order facing up. They will stay together. This also means no paper clips, binder clips, or other things like that as they are very unprofessional in standard manuscript format.
Now that you have the basic things to remember down pat, learn the rest of the standard manuscript format do's and don'ts that will set your manuscript in a standard format you need.
I spent a lot of time and effort researching and compiling how to write a manuscript while writing Formatting Your Manuscript and included these additional formatting notes into a simple, easy to read and understand guide. Please take advantage of this great information so you can save yourself a lot of time and money during the formatting process.
Once you add this special guide to your library for just $2.97, immediately read through it at once and discover how easy it really is to put together your own fiction manuscript!
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