March 30, 2012

Formatting Your Manuscript

As you are typing the beginning of your book, there is one thing you can do to save you time later—start formatting your manuscript for submission. Knowing how to format a manuscript in the beginning will prevent you from having to go back after finishing your book to format each page one-by-one. It’s not that difficult as long as you do it right.

Follow these simple instructions:

* Use a 12-point font. Whether you use Times New Roman, Arial, or Courier New is your judgment call.

* Double-space        
* 1-inch margins

* Indent paragraphs using tab (not an extra line spacing). I like to use .3 for my tabs

* Create a header for the top of each page. Word lets you insert a header that’ll appear automatically on each page and even allows you to insert page numbers. The header should look like this:

Last Name/TITLE/Manuscript                                                Page 1
* When starting a new chapter go about a handful of spaces down the page from the header (3-5 is a good number). This is where you type in all caps:


* After you write the chapter number, go down about 5 line-spaces, indent using tab, and start writing the first paragraph.

* At the end of the manuscript, go a few lines spaces under the last sentence (or half-way between the last line and the bottom of the page) and type in all caps:

                                                   THE END     


  1. Thank you, Chrys, for sharing! I knew about the font size and line spacing but have had no clue how to indicate a chapter change.

  2. Karen,

    I'm glad that my blog on formatting was helpful to you!

    Stop by again!

    Chrys Fey

  3. Yeah I am not exactly hip to the formatting. Yet I am a ghost writer. Lovely me.

    1. Formatting can be a pain until you get the hang of it. Now it's second nature to me.

    2. Formatting can be a pain until you get the hang of it. Now it's second nature to me.