Post: Format properly before submitting for publishing


If you want a publisher to consider your manuscript, there are several issues to keep in mind before submitting your work. Many publishers have certain requirements that must be met before they will agree to review your manuscript. For instance, Vertu Publishing uses specific guidelines for writers to ensure that their manuscripts are in proper format before sending them in for review. 

No two publishing companies are the same. However, most publishers operate under guidelines that are like the ones mentioned in this post. It’s always best to inquire about formatting guidelines ahead of time, rather than risk having your manuscript declined and returned to you. 

Format your manuscript with Times New Roman font

Some writers think that using a fancy or bold font, or colors other than black, will make their manuscripts stand out and attract a publisher’s attention. Quite the opposite is true, really. If your goal is to have your manuscript accepted for consideration, it is always best to format your text using 12 pt. Times New Roman font in black ink. 

Steer clear of fancy fonts with frills and swirls or bright colors. Worse yet, never submit a manuscript that has been formatted with multiple ink colors. Just stick to the standard black and the font and size stated in the previous section. It’s also best to use one-inch margins on all sides and single line spacing or 1.5 — do not use double spaces for formatting a manuscript. 

Additional tips for to format your manuscript

Remember to ask for requirements from the publisher you have chosen to consider your work. The following list includes several more formatting guidelines that Vertu uses:

  • Use left alignment, not justified.
  • Indent for new paragraphs by hitting TAB key one time.
  • You may embolden chapter titles and center them with a larger font.
  • Avoid use of footers (other than page numbers), headers and text boxes.

Many publishing companies (including Vertu) offer additional services to help writers properly format a manuscript and ensure that it is ready for publishing consideration. You might want to obtain a pre-submission review, copyediting services or developmental editing assistance. 

Tap into available resources to help your book achieve its full potential

Even if you have a skilled background in writing or editing, it’s a good idea to take advantage of the professional services that are available to help you refine your manuscript and get it ready for submission. The keen eyes of professional editors and reviewers can ensure that you have fully developed your characters and have avoided punctuation or grammatical errors. They can also help you properly format your manuscript before you send it to a publisher.