More on Formatting : Odds and Ends

Formatting a children's book

A reader writes to ask: I'm preparing a manuscript for a children's book. Should I use the same format [as for adult fiction]? Or is there a different format for this type of book? Yes, when submitting a picture book,...  read

Cheating the format

A reader writes to ask: I'm getting close to done writing a manuscript, set to your specs for 250 words per page, and it's threatening to break 600 manuscript pages (about 150k, assuming no half-pages). That's going to be a...  read

Regarding line height, close is good enough

A reader writes to demand: Setting everything according to the various suggestions for Word to lay out my pages for writing a book, I find it impossible to get 25 lines on an 8½ by 11 when double spaced. Explain....  read

Indicating large divisions in your book manuscript

A reader writes to ask: My memoir is divided into sections rather than having chapter titles. Some sections have as little as one chapter while the longest has seven. In a book I can see each section, which has a...  read

Long quotations within your text

A reader writes to ask: Is there a guideline for when you want to include the text of some other text within your story? I'm thinking of something like Barry Malzberg's Herovit's World where parts of the novel were actually...  read

Choosing the right printer

A reader writes to ask: I came across your web site while searching for information on the correct way to format a manuscript. I failed to make a note about electronic file printing. Do you have any recommendations regarding the...  read

Proper manuscript format for the 21st century

I wrote the original version of my manuscript formatting guide in 1993, modeling it after a much older two-page guide I received from Damon Knight in 1985. Back in those days, even for those who'd made the switch to composing...  read

Composing a cover letter

A reader writes to ask: I am going to FEDEX my short fiction story to [a certain American] magazine, who were the only gracious ones to send me a response to my e-mail query (out of hundreds of e-mail queries...  read

Word counts for proposal submissions

A reader writes to ask: I am submitting a short story collection, but the publisher requests just the first 50 pages. How do I handle this in terms of what I would write for word count? Do I include the...  read

Uncorrecting the ellipsis character

A reader writes to ask: I've been writing in Microsoft Works, which I believe is similar but not identical to Word. When I type an ellipse by typing three periods in succession, the program automatically compresses them together, rendering the...  read

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