Christian Writer’s Market Guide—Part III

market guide 2015This week, I’ll give you hints on formatting, from this resource. Jerry Jenkins wrote this section on Writer’s Helps. This one’s called “Keys to Professional Formatting.” What’s the big deal about formatting? One word: professionalism Click to Tweet #amwriting #formatting

Here are some of the tips in the section called Manuscript Preparation:

Font: Times New Roman, 12-point, Black — This typestyle is usually the default, but if not, make it so. It’s easy to read, and for editors, that’s crucial. Don’t get creative. Just use this one.

golden typewriter keysDouble-spaced: Again, it’s easily read, editors that like to mark up your manuscript in red will enjoy having the space to do so. Many editors now do it onscreen, and it’s easy to read.

Single space between sentences: In class to learn to type, we were taught to put two spaces between sentences, but that’s not necessary anymore, so restrain yourself. You may use search and replace to correct this.

Paragraph Indents: Indent the first line to ½-inch, or .5-inch. This sets off each paragraph and makes it more readable.

Margins, 1-1/4” left & right, 1-inch top & bottom: Makes it easy for editors to make notes in a larger margin on their printouts.

Ragged Right: Although most finished books are set to be justified margins, you’ll want to have ragged right for the benefit of the editor. What we’re doing here, is formatting to a standard of how most editors want to see your manuscript. You don’t want your manuscript rejected on a technicality. Click to Tweet Or because it shows that you were ignorant of industry standard. #amwriting #formatting

Do you format your manuscripts this way? Do you have any other formatting tips you’d like to share? Leave a comment and let me know.

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