Wednesday, November 29, 2006
How to present a manuscript
Moving on from the theme of self-publishing, though I'm still open to discussion if anyone wants to continue, today we're going to be talking about what your manuscript should look like when you send it off to an agency or publisher. (I'm generally saying 'editor', because that's what I used to do, but the advice applies to agencies as well. I'd always advise people to get an agent before approaching publishers.)
A manuscript submitted for consideration should look like this:
What you don't need:
A lot of the overkills are done on the assumption that 'good presentation can't hurt'. It can't. But an editor's idea of well-presented means clear, simple and manageable. Extras are almost always unwelcome; agents and publishers are looking for people who will make professional writers, and bindings, fancy paper and visual gimmicks look amateurish. Trust me: the duller your physical presentation, the more interested people will be.
Thanks - that all seems like good, sensible advice.
One little query though: I've got into the habit of using Courier instead of Times, pretty much as per the template that the BBC offer here.
I have to say, I do prefer a fixed-width font to a proportional one. Courier's not too 'fancy' though, is it? (Perhaps it's more 'old-fashioned' than anything?)
I guess it depends on what you're submitting. If you're submitting to the BBC, then by all means listen to them rather than me when it comes to formats: they know what they like. If it's a novel and publishers, I'd personally go with Times or Times New Roman as it's a bit easier to read - but don't sue me if I'm wrong! If you have somewhere in particular in mind, you can always call them and ask what they prefer.
Courier isn't too fancy, no, though I seldom saw it in submissions and didn't much care for it - it is a bit old-fashioned-looking. I was thinking more of all those submissions I gave up on that were in fake copperplate, scary-scary Gothick, or something equally illegible. Man, I hated getting those.
Thanks for the advice, but would it have to be indented instead of line space? I mean, I'll change it if it will really help, but it would take a lot of time. ThanksPost a Comment
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