Manuscript Formatting--No Perfume, Please (Pt. 2)

Is there a particular way of formatting my manuscript that I should know about? If I do it wrong, will they automatically reject me?

Check your publisher’s website and see if they have any special formatting guidelines. You will find that most of them are pretty similar. 99.9% of publishers will be satisfied with the guidelines posted on this website. (Except I prefer Times, rather than Courier. Easier on MY eyes.)

If you do it wrong, it may or may not lead to rejection—depending on what it is you’ve done. I absolutely refuse to read a manuscript that is smaller than 10 pt type and single spaced. Or if the margins go all the way to the edge of the page. Or if it’s in some really obnoxious font that is hard to read, or set in all caps. Or if it’s printed on neon or patterned paper, or paper that has been wadded up and then flattened out again. Or if it’s been sprayed with perfume. Believe it or not, authors will do this thinking it will set them apart from the rest of the slush pile. It does, but not in a good way.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm an anonymous colleague of LDS Pubisher--and she truly is anonymous. I have no idea who she is. For all I know, she's in the office down the hall. :)

Back to the point. I once got a submission that was a collection of printed e-mails, complete with the free e-mail header and the ads along the side. I guess this was where they stored their creative writing files-in case of a hard drive crash or something.

I read the first one anyway. It was, as I suspected from the delivery, not publishable quality. Even if it had been, I'm not sure I would want to work with someone who was so uninformed about the submission process.