How to draft a manuscript before sending to the publisher?
Hello Fellow hubbers,
I have just finished my first manuscript (fiction).
Please advise me on how to format the manuscript before sending it to a publisher.
What should be the format - size, font, spacing etc? Do I need to include a synopsis and cover letter? I wish to do it perfectly so that I wont have to resend it again with the specifications. I am excited that I am inching closer to my dream of getting published.
I think you have to double space it so they can leave marks on it and I think the font has to be 12 Times New Roman. As for the cover letter I think that is optional.
The Writers Market Library has a softcover book that is very specific on formatting every kind of manuscript www.writersdigest.com. However in my experience every single publisher has different requirements.
Rather than rely upon published instructions, I always contact the publisher by e-mail or phone requesting that they transmit their submission instructions.
As to a cover letter, this is very important. Keep it to a single page, and give a good sales pitch.
The 2013 Guide to Literary Agents is your best place to start (they should have a copy at your local library). It instructs you on all the requirements for the manuscript and teaches you how to write a synopsis and a query letter (both of which you will need). You can go directly to some publishers, depending on your genre, but most publishers don't accept manuscripts if you don't have a literary agent. So focus on them first.
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