HOW TO SUBMIT A MANUSCRIPT
book publishers are open to varied styles and genres. Study the
guidelines. If a listing clearly states "no Romance manuscripts," then
you obviously won't send them your Romance manuscript. Once you've
determined where to submit your novel or story, this is the proper
procedure for submitting it. Start with standard formatting. Your main
goal when formatting is to make your manuscript easy to read. An editor
will thank you for being kind to her tired eyes. Here are some standard
For both short stories and novels:
Provide one-inch margins all the way around each page (top, bottom, and
both sides). If an editor needs to make notes, this will offer room to
• Double-space your text.
• Number pages consecutively,
beginning with page two. Numbers may be centered at the bottom of each
page or placed in the upper left or right corner of each page. Some
guidelines will specify where a particular editor prefers the page
numbers to be.
• Place your name on each page, beginning with page two.
• Place your name, address, phone number, and email address in single-space format in the upper left corner of page one.
• Use only white paper, 8 1/2 x 11 inches.
• Use only black ink.
• Do not use fancy fonts. Use either Courier New 12 or Times New Roman 12 (these are the easiest to read).
• Unless the guidelines state that italics are acceptable, indicate that you want a word to be italicized by underlining it.
• Indent each new paragraph five spaces.
For a novel:
Make a separate cover page. In the upper left corner, put your name and
address information. Centered on the page, midway down, put the TITLE
of your novel in all capital letters, then single-space and put your
name (or your pen name, if you decide to use one, with your legal name
in parentheses beside it). In the lower right corner, put an approximate
word count for the novel (e.g., approximately 70,000 words). (Round the
word count off to the nearest 500 words. For instance, if your
novel-according to your word¬processing program's built-in word
counter-is 71,234 words, round it down to 71,000. If it's 71,849 words,
round it up to 72,000.)
• Begin each chapter halfway down a new page and type CHAPTER ONE (TWO, THREE, and so on) in all capital letters.
For a short story:
• No cover page is necessary.
Begin page one of your story halfway down the page and type your
story's TITLE in all caps, then single¬ space and type your name or pen
name (your name should not be in all caps). If you're using a pen name,
be sure to put your legal name in the upper left corner of page one.
• Place an approximate word count in the upper right corner of page one. Round off to the nearest 50 words.
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