Monday, June 21, 2010

Getting Technical

This is going to be one of those posts that will more than likely land me square in the middle of the big circle drawn around Geek Land.

I mean, my Nerd Alert is going off and when your own Nerd Alert is blaring against you as the culprit? You know it's pretty bad.

But. It must be written. I'm going to talk about the margins/settings you need to have down when you submit your manuscript. And I do hope that it's at least marginally helpful (um. No pun intended).

It's all about first impressions though. And if a publisher can open up your proposal's sample chapters and notice that you've already got the settings correct on Word, that's free points for you right off the bat!

So. Push up those masking-taped glasses and adjust those pocket protectors, because here we go!

First off, always submit your proposal sample chapters in one Microsoft Word document (and preferably the latest version). Don't have two different files for the publisher to have to open - one is just fine. When you first open a new document, go to the "Alignment and Spacing" section (note: I have a Mac, so these directions might be slightly different for PCs). You need to set the entire document to double-spaced.

Next, find where you can set something called the "Indentation" and set it to 0.5. This means that every time you start a new paragraph it will automatically indent, instead of you needing to use the tab button (you will win SOO many extra points with the copy editor if you do this!).

If you want to see an example of a fiction proposal (the one I used with Miss Match), send me an email at and I'll be sure to send it to you! It has all the settings correct and shows you how to format each page.

Okay. You can all turn off your Nerd Alerts. I'm done. :)

Hope you are having a great Monday afternoon!

1 comment:

  1. Another question: do you know if there are any rules or special permission needed in taking a sermon, talk, or non-fiction book you've heard/read and applying the points in a fictional story?