Your manuscript needs to be perfect. There is no place for misspellings, grammar errors, poor formatting, or plain sloppy writing. Once you’ve corrected the problems, present your manuscript in the standard industry format.
Those of you who have been around for a while know what I’m talking about. Newbies, not so much. So here’s the deal.
- Use a 12-point, Times New Roman font.
- Use 1-inch margins at the top, bottom, and both sides of the page.
- Use white paper; do not bind it (if you’re submitting a physical copy).
- Make sure your last name and the page number are on each page.
- Do not include illustrations.
- Put the name of your novel, your name, and your contact information (phone number and email address are sufficient) on the title page.
- Don’t bother with a copyright notice–it’s meaningless and the mark of an amateur.
- Submit your manuscript electronically as a PDF, not a word document.
While this is the standard format, you should read the submission requirements carefully whenever you present your work to a publisher or agent to ensure it is formatted per their specifications. Don’t give them a reason to toss your work to the side.
Something to think about.