Publishing Your Book
If you have finally written your novel, you want to be sure
that you are giving the agent everything that they need and
expect. This is really the point where your manuscript
should not stand out from others, except in what it has to
As for the length of your first novel, the rule of the thumb
is to keep it short, say, between 60,000 and 120,000 words,
a fairly standard size. You can make it even shorter if your
target readers are younger. If you are not going through an
agent, you should look at other things the publisher has
published to get an idea of what kinds of word counts they
like to accept.
The next important point is how to format the manuscript.
The entire text of your manuscript should be in a word
processing document even if you have handwritten it or typed
it on a typewriter. It looks more professional. It's worth
investing in a computer, if you don't own one already,
because you might need to send it via email. If you simply
can't afford to own a computer, you can pay someone to type
up your manuscript on their computer.
Your manuscript should follow the standard format. You must
type it in Times New Roman or Courier font in twelve point
font size. The text should be double spaced, the title page
should include your contact information in the bottom right
hand corner, including name, address, and email address.
However, if you are going through an agent, then your
agent's'scontact information will go in the bottom left
corner and your contact information will be in the top left
The title of the manuscript should be typed in all capitals
and placed in the center of the title page.
The rest of the pages will include the page number in the
top right hand corner along with your name and title in all
capitals, separated by a backslash and placed in the upper
left hand corners.
Type the chapter titles in all capital letters and place it
about a third of the way down the page. Skip four lines
before proceeding to the text.
Make sure you indent new paragraphs and dialogue either with
the TAB key or with five spaces.
As for the content, make sure your document is thoroughly
edited by a professional copyeditor. Of course, you can do
it yourself also. It's best to take a print out of the
document on paper and read every word of it. It's the proven
way to spot errors that one tends to miss when the document
is on the computer screen.
You must present your manuscript totally free of spelling
mistakes or grammatical errors. They give the impression
that you are not professional or committed to the
manuscript. These seemingly simple errors can annoy the
publisher to the extent that he rejects your manuscript
Take the time to create a professional manuscript and one
that is consistent with these industry standards. Anything
flashy will only draw the annoyance of the one reading it,
not the attention.
Matt Crazoner runs the website FWE
Publishing, inc. which is the complete publishing research center
providing easy access to absolutely everything you can possibly imagine
publishing related. Please visit http://www.fwepublishing.com
for any questions or comments about this article