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Welcome back to the Steps to Publication series.
Today’s topic is Formatting: How avoid rejection by doing it right
You know formatting is important, but do you know how to do it? Here are eleven key points to follow if you want your manuscript to be read by an editor, publisher or agent and not chucked in the bin because you were unaware of the guidelines.
Yes, there are guidelines. Most publishing houses and agents have them, so before you send, look them up and adjust your work appropriately before you submit.
It really is that important.
Here are the basics:
* 1″ margin on all sides
* Use a standard font, 12-point type. Times New Roman or Aria
* Double-space the entire text.
* Include a title page with your contact details and title of the work
* Number the pages, beginning with the first page of story text
* Use a header on each page, including your name, the title and date
* Each new chapter gets its own page, starting 1/3 of the way down the page
* Chapter number and chapter title are in all caps, separated by two hyphens
* Start the body of the chapter four to six lines below the chapter title.
* Indent fives spaces for each new paragraph.
* If you don’t know how to format dialog – go here
Seems simple, right? As a mentor for the local writers center, I have yet to receive a ms that ticked even half the boxes for standard formatting. So, follow the rules. Check the agent/publisher’s specific guidelines, and get yourself in the habit of doing it right.
Remember, one of the fastest ways to be coming a professional writer is to get into the vibration of being one – and that means you know how to present your work!
Go to it!