Having your manuscript professionally edited is not an inexpensive proposition,
so make the most of the opportunity. Below are a few things to help make the experience
more pleasurable and productive for all parties concerned.
- Formatting your manuscript for submission to me:
- Electronic submissions ONLY
- Preferred program to receive manuscripts: MS Word 2007
- 1” border all around
- 12 pt Times New Roman type font
- Double spaced
- No extra space before or after paragraphs
- Initial line indent: .5
- Header: (L) Author’s Name (C)Book Title (R)Page Number
- Cover page:
- Legal Name, Address, email, phone
- Genre, word count
- There should also be a place for “Submitted to”: For now, put my name in there.
Change for each house submission.
- Title (middle of page, centered)
- Author Name (same, under Author)
- Agent Name and contact information, if appropriate
- Hard page break between chapters
- New Chapters begin ½ way down page
- Each publisher will have their own preferences for how they want a manuscript formatted.
What I listed above is what I use and is a good generic layout for you in the event
that a publisher does not state guidelines.
- Never submit anything that you have not spell checked. Period.
- That said, keep in mind that spell check is not infallible. To, too, and two all
pass spell check … but have very different meanings. There are many examples like
this in the English language.
- We all have unique ways of expressing ourselves; however, be careful to not let a
favorite phrase or word become overused in your manuscript.
- Writing is a business. Do not take edits and feedback personally. Anyone editing
your manuscript is there for one reason only: to help you create the best book possible.
- Know when to hold ‘em. Know when to fold ‘em. When dealing with a freelance editor
you are at liberty to take or leave our recommendations. When dealing with a publishing
house editor, you need to know when to pick your battles. If it’s something crucial
to your story and vision that it be there, be willing to say so. If it’s small stuff
regarding the style of books that their specific house publishes … be flexible. Keep
in mind, they want your book to be a success as much as you do.
- It is recommended that a writer not approach a publisher until their manuscript is
complete and ready to present. Even better, have several other works ready to go
as backups in case they would like to see more.
I wish you good luck with your new manuscript and look forward to working with you.
Deborah DeVane, Editor