Until you favor your mates to be story nerds or those that lean towards obsessive-compulsive tendencies with regards to grammar, you shouldn’t essentially search to befriend your editor.
Nonetheless, you ought to search to do all the pieces in your energy to be a skilled pal of your editor. One of many easiest methods to try this — which too many authors fail to think about — is formatting.
I do know. With the best of respect for ebook designers and inner formatters, formatting isn’t precisely the sexiest of subjects for an creator to think about. You’d a lot slightly paint a brand new world on the canvas of your ebook than speak about unadorned, 12-point Occasions New Roman.
However that’s why we have to speak about it.
Once you skip over the fundamentals of how your manuscript is formatted, you’re subconsciously displaying an absence of respect on your craft and your editor. In the event you ship a poorly formatted manuscript to your editor, they very seemingly received’t say something, however I can promise you that they’re pondering considered one of two issues:
I can hardly learn this manuscript.
I’m losing my time reformatting this manuscript.
In these situations, an editor will both edit your manuscript as-is or spend the time you’re paying them for to do the work you may have (and may have) completed your self.
However when you incorporate the standardized fundamentals of formatting a manuscript in preparation on your editor, you’ll see that it’ll save each you and your editor a whole lot of time and frustration.
Plus, after you have the fundamentals down, you’ll be able to create a ebook format template for future use.
10 suggestions for nailing your ebook format
Whereas this text makes an attempt to supply standardized suggestions, some editors, brokers or publishing homes might have their very own formatting stipulations. All the time you’ll want to scan web sites for that data, and when unsure, ask.
The next formatting suggestions maintain true for each fiction and nonfiction manuscripts within the U.S. Any accepted variations are famous, and feedback are appreciated with regard to variations for worldwide markets.
Right here’s what’s anticipated for the standard manuscript format.
1. Use black, 12-point, Occasions New Roman because the font
Sure, Occasions New Roman is boring, but it surely’s basically on each pc ever made.
Don’t use a cool font for impact. Save that on your inside design, which comes a lot later after the enhancing course of.
(Font trivia: Occasions New Roman is now not utilized by The Occasions.)
2. Use the U.S. commonplace web page dimension of eight.5×11 inches and set your margins to 1 inch on all sides
Beginning a brand new doc in Phrase defaults to those parameters, however when you’re exporting to Phrase out of your phrase processor of selection, double-check the output to make sure your web page dimension and margins are right.
To set web page dimension in Phrase, go to File>Web page Setup and have a look at the drop-down menu for Web page Measurement.
To set margins in Phrase, go to Format>Doc.
three. Set alignment to left justified
Left justified textual content is also referred to as ragged proper textual content. The textual content will align itself alongside its left aspect, leaving its proper aspect nonuniform (unjustified).
To set alignment in Phrase, choose your whole textual content, then click on the left justification icon within the House tab or choose Format>Paragraph and select “Left” within the Alignment drop-down field.
four. Use a single house after durations
In the event you had been skilled to sort two areas after a interval, retrain your self.
Within the digital age, use a single house. (For why, see “Area Invaders.”)
Tip: in case your manuscript has two areas after a interval, use your phrase processor’s Discover and Substitute device. Kind two areas into “Discover” and one house into “Substitute” then hit “Substitute All” with reckless, typing-teacher-be-damned abandon.
5. Use double-spaced line spacing
This can be the best assist to your editor.
You wish to guarantee they see your each final phrase, so give your phrases room to breathe on the web page.
Tip: when you’ve already written your ebook with totally different line spacing, choose your whole textual content in Phrase, click on Format > Paragraph, then choose “Double” within the drop-down field beneath “Line spacing.”
6. Indent all paragraphs by .5 inches, and don’t hit tab or house to indent
This can be each editor’s pet peeve. Setting tabs and hitting tab aren’t the identical factor.
In the event you’re a tab-hitter or space-space-space-space-spacer, choose your whole textual content in Phrase, then set indentation utilizing Format > Paragraph. Beneath “Indentation” and by “Left,” sort .5. beneath “Particular,” then select “First line” from the drop-down menu.
Observe: Typically, the primary paragraph of any chapter, after a subhead, or following a bulleted or numbered listing isn’t indented.
7. Format paragraphs in keeping with style requirements
Fiction authors ought to use indented paragraphs with out full paragraph breaks. Nonfiction authors might go for no indentation as long as paragraphs are separated by a full paragraph break.
Tip: Crack open a ebook in your style to see what the paragraphing conventions are, then emulate.
eight. Use web page breaks
To start a brand new chapter, don’t simply maintain hitting return till you create a brand new web page. Relatively, use web page breaks.
In Phrase, place the cursor on the finish of a chapter, then click on “Insert > Break > Web page Break” in Phrase’s prime menu.
9. Quantity your pages
Don’t start numbering in your title web page. Relatively, start numbering on the web page your story begins.
To position web page numbers in Phrase, double-click inside the header space of the web page on which your story begins and click on “Insert > Web page Numbers,” then choose your most well-liked choices. Select to position your web page numbers on the prime left of the web page.
10. Ship your manuscript as one Phrase doc (.doc /.docx)
You don’t must compose your masterpiece in Phrase, however as a result of Phrase’s “Observe Modifications” characteristic continues to be the de facto enhancing device of selection, your editor will respect receiving a Phrase file.
And no matter you do, by no means ship your editor particular person chapters as separate recordsdata.
These 10 easy-to-follow steps will put you in your editor’s good aspect. Whereas every of those points usually doesn’t take an excessive amount of time to rectify, the issues are compounded when an editor has to repair various.
When an editor receives a well-formatted manuscript, they’ll instantly start the work that you just’re truly paying them to do: enhancing!
We up to date this submit in 2019 so it’s extra helpful and related for our readers!
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Concerning the Creator: Blake Atwood
Blake Atwood is the creator of Don’t Worry the Reaper: Why Each Creator Wants an Editor and a contract editor and author with EditFor.me.