© Copyright DCD Productions
- 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:
- 1” border all around
- 12pt 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.
- Author Name
- 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
for their particular house. What I listed above is what I use and is a good generic
to use in the event that a publisher does not have published guidelines.
- Never submit anything that you have not spell checked. Period.
- That said, keep in mind that spell check is your best friend … but you still need
to watch her like a hawk. To, too, and two all pass spell check… but have very different
meanings. There are several 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.
- Have non-professional ‘readers’ (aka friends) review your manuscript before submitting
to any professional editor and certainly before going to a publisher. They will
be able to give you great insight and hopefully find obvious mistakes. One of the
main things you will gain from them is ‘does this make sense/can it be followed’.
Many times we do mental shorthand with our stories. WE know what a sentence is
supposed to say. WE know where the story is supposed to go. And so when we read
we see what we think we’ve written. Unfortunately, sometimes what we know in our
mind does not make it onto the actual page and the reader is left wondering what
- Regarding readers. Be careful to not let them overwrite your own voice. They are
there to give you feedback and be extra sets of eyes, but ultimately, this is your
creation and must be yours, not theirs.
- Don’t take edits and feedback personally. Anyone editing your manuscript is there
for one reason only. To help you create the best book that you possibly can and
to help you in your journey to being published.
- Know when to hold ‘em. Know when to fold ‘em. When dealing with a freelance editor
you are free 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 that
is crucial to your story and vision that it be there, be willing to say so. If it’s
small stuff regarding their style of books that they are working with you to achieve…
be flexible. They want your book to be a success as much as you do.
- Never contact a publisher until your manuscript is complete and ready to present.
Even better, have several more as backups so that if they say, “we like your style
but THIS manuscript isn’t right for our house… what else do you have?”…. you can
pitch them several other great things they might jump on.