Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Formatting Your Manuscript

So, you think you're just about there. You've written your book. You've sent it out to a few readers to get some feedback. The people in your critique group have given you even more input on it. You've studied all about writing queries and synopses, and yours are all polished up.

What about your manuscript? If you haven't paid a professional editor to have a go at it, there are  lots of places online to help you with your formatting. Here's a link to one that has an easy-to-read list of things to do and things to not do.

And it's a big but.

If you're asked to send in a full manuscript, be sure to check that agent's or that publisher's guidelines for formatting. They aren't universal, and it will stand you in good stead if you take the time to follow their directions--especially if they've taken the time to post them online for you.

Do you have any good places to check out for formatting help?

Donna K. Weaver


Alice said...

Great advice. Thanks!

Cathy said...

Good to know. Thanks.

L.G.Smith said...

Right, no reason to shoot yourself in the foot for not complying with instructions. I WISH there were a universal format, but until then...follow directions.

Peggy Eddleman said...

Such a good point! I got Elana Johnson's ebook on writing queries, and was surprised at how helpful she was in that department! I think I would have been a ball of stress in the wee hours of the night if I hadn't had it. She even lets you know what the subject line of the email is supposed to say when you're sending requested materials! Life saver, I tell you.

Caryn Caldwell said...

Great point! It seems like everyone wants something just a little bit different, doesn't it?