Why must I format my novel into this form?
As the publishing industry has grown over the years, a standard format for submitting writing
has developed. Given that agents and editors might review over 100 manuscripts each month, it makes sense that they would
prefer to see consistent formatting that is easily read and still compact. Keeping to this standard helps agents and editors
retain their eyesight (and sanity) and provides an amount of professionalism to the industry. If you had to read over 100
manuscripts like the one in this example (follow link)
, you might not be too happy with the unobservant writers.
What does manuscript form look like?
When submitting a manuscript, use plain, white, 8½ x 11, 20 lb. paper. Choose a font that is
legible, like Times New Roman or Courier, and just use the plain font. Double-space the manuscript and put a 1 to 1½-inch
margin on all sides. The first page of each chapter should start midway down the page, and include a title page. Several
options exist concerning how to put your name, the manuscript name, and the page number on each page; mainly, realize that
these pieces of information will need to appear on each page.
I have included a sample of some pages
formatted as a manuscript.
Check out Wikipedia's manuscript
for more information. They also explain why this formatting is important.
The 2008 Writer's Market reference book also discusses manuscript format. If you cannot purchase
this book, just go to the library or a book store and look up pages 10 and 11.
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