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Submissions Week – General Formatting

Submissions Week

Hey all,

Welcome to our first (probably annual?) submissions week – were we’ll talk about all things submissions. This is a great opportunity for our newer authors to learn things from our veterans – how to prepare your story (whether it’s a short story, a novella, a novel, poem etc) for submission to a publisher.

We’ll start off the week with the basics – formatting your manuscript. Any experienced author will tell you that the first rule is to follow the publisher guidelines. Skip those and your manuscript may not even make the slush pile.

But what are some other tips from our experts here? How do you get your document from a non-Word format into Word in one piece if you use a different word processor? Are there shortcuts to prepping your manuscript? What steps do you take to ensure it is formatted correctly before sending it off?

Let’s discuss!


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1 thought on “Submissions Week – General Formatting”

  1. Honestly, if you write in more than one version/device with Word or another text editing software, you’re going to find the styles change–even if you can’t see it, you can definitely tell when you try to create a different format like an eBook. Sometimes the fonts change, or the sizing changes, or you lose the spacing consistency when different breaks are added in the editing programs.

    When I submit to a publisher, I don’t worry about clearing the formatting, but if I’m self-publishing or helping someone else publish, I end up having to strip the document’s formatting completely and then going through and adding everything–italics, spacing, chapter headers, and such–back in manually. That is the only way to really ensure a clean copy once the manuscript is complete.


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