Do you have a great book idea but aren’t sure how to proceed? Are you planning to publish a book?
It’s easy to overlook formatting when writing the opening paragraph of a new document. After all, issues like appropriate page layout, mirror margins, section breaks, and whether or not your hyphens are in the right position might feel like roadblocks to simply getting your thoughts down on paper.
In modern usage, the term manuscript refers to an early draft of a book, novel, or short story, however, the name originates from the Latin phrase “manuscripts,” which means “written by hand.”
In terms of spelling, grammar, and punctuation, it is important to make sure that your book must be flawless.
Some writers decide to start formatting right away. Others like to finish work first, then worry about paragraph indents and page layout later.
Here are 10 steps of writing the final error-free manuscript:
Include all important information, such as your name, contact information, the manuscript’s word count, and your personal website, if you have one, in the top left-hand corner of the title page.
Many applications track and display the word count of your document, but if not, most word processing programs have a “tools” tab where you may discover it. A link to your own website, if applicable, allows publishers to learn more about you and your background.
The white area at the tops, bottoms, and sides of the page where there is no content is known as your margins. By default, they should be one inch.
All sides of your book pages should have one-inch margins (so your top, bottom, left, and right margins should all be uniform). In MS Word and other word writing tools.
If you need to change them in Microsoft Word, go to Layout, then Margins, then select Normal as the first choice.
The title page should not have a header. A header is the text that appears above the first line of each page. Your last name should be on the left, the book title should be centred, and the page number should be on the right in your manuscript.
In Microsoft Word, place your cursor into the margin above the top line and click twice to create a header. “Header and Footer Tools” should appear as a new tab at the top. Anyone can easily select “page number” from the drop-down menu. From the “Header & Footer Tools” menu, select “Different First Page” to prevent the header from appearing on the first page.
After you make the first heading, you can usually programme your writing tool to do this for every page, so you won’t have to manually add the page number to each page. If you’re having trouble with this step, go to the “help” button for instructions on how to embed the page numbers in the most efficient way.
Most authors Times New Roman 12 point fonts. It’s a good idea to double-check the font specifications for the organisation to which you’re submitting your work. It’s also crucial to make your manuscript’s format as straightforward as possible.
Alhough some agencies and editors use various serif or sans serif fonts like Arial or Courier New, but the industry norm is Times New Roman with a 12 point font size.
Also, try to follow the basic style guidelines and aiming for simplicity and clarity might help to give your work a professional look. This improves the readability of your work and helps ghostwriters for hirepublishers to focus on the substance rather than the presentation of your writing.
After a period, leave one space between phrases. Many individuals mistakenly hit the space bar twice to insert two spaces between sentences, but this is incorrect. It is crucial to use three asterisks in the center or blank line to indicate a new scene.
Indent a half-inch for the first line of a new paragraph. In majority of the word processors you can simply make it by pressing the tab key once.
Try to choose the option from the menu provided in your tool rather than repeatedly pressing the space bar at the start of each paragraph. When you push Enter at the end of the preceding paragraph, your book paragraphs will be automatically indented.
It’s crucial to verify the publisher’s website for specific formatting instructions. Certain fonts, file types, and other formatting features are preferred by some organisations.
Make sure you follow the publisher’s requirements regarding whether you should submit merely a query letter, a book proposal, or the entire manuscript, as well as whether the publisher prefers a paper copy or whether you can offer the work electronically via email.
To indicate a new scene, place a blank line with three asterisks in the center. Your page’s right-hand side will not be consistent.
After a period, leave one space between phrases. Many individuals mistakenly hit the space bar twice to insert two spaces between sentences, but this is incorrect.
Save a copy of your book manuscript. You can use 10 point or 11 point fonts and 1.5 or double line spacing to print or create a PDF.
Then proofread that one; you’ll be surprised at how many errors you’ll notice that you didn’t notice when you read it before.
It’s quite usual for some parts of your book to arrive before others. You might be waiting for permits to arrive, or you might be waiting for an index to be added after everything else is finished.
However, don’t put a book into production if it’s missing key elements, entire chapters, or dialogue. All of this makes your book’s production less efficient and prone to errors.
Keep in mind that agents and editors don’t have much time to examine manuscripts because their days are spent looking after their other authors. As a result, they may only have time to read a page or two of yours before rejecting it. Make sure your first page provides the best possible first impression.
Professionals who properly format their manuscripts may have an advantage in the publication process since publishers are more likely to notice their work. While there are numerous ways to format a manuscript, many publishers prefer it when professionals submit their work in a standard format.