By Natalie Bright

A friend contacted me this past week with a question about her brother’s book. In a letter from a publisher, the editor requested a “single pane format”. I had never heard of the term. After some discussion, I finally pieced the puzzle together. He had submitted it in book format with two panes per page. Unfortunately, it’s a lengthy work and he has lots of cutting a pasting to do. There is good news–he has an editor willing to take another look!

Manuscripts should follow several simple formatting rules. Please share this blog with your newbie writer friends.

Here are the basic rules for formatting a manuscript to be followed when submitting your work to agents and editors:

Use a 1″ margin on both sides, top and bottom.
Double-space the entire text.
Indent fives spaces for each new paragraph.
Some agents/editors prefer a title page.
Don’t number the title page. Begin numbering with the first page of the text of the book, whether that be an introduction, prologue, or chapter one.
Place a header on each page, top right or left, which includes the following: title of your novel in all caps / your name / page number.
Start each new chapter on its own page, one-third of the way down the page. (control return for Word users)
The chapter number and chapter title should be in all caps, separated by two hyphens: CHAPTER 1—TITLE.
Begin the body of the chapter four to six lines below the chapter title.
Use a standard font, 12-point type. Times New Roman, Arial, or Courier is fine.
Follow me on Twitter: @natNKB




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