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
July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 March 2014