Books -
Formatting Your Manuscript

The following formatting is preferred by most U. S. publishers, so it would be wise to get in the habit of using this formatting whenever you create a manuscript. 

Here's Why:

Editors are used to seeing manuscripts in one format and do not approve of or condone other formats.  Get used to setting up your manuscripts according to the format below and always use this format for all of your book-length material.  Otherwise, you'll have one strike against you from the very start!

Remember: creativity is of value in your story line, not in your manuscript formatting!  If you're serious about writing and serious about getting published, use these formatting guidelines with all of your book-length manuscripts.  If you're serious about writing but not about getting published, please submit your material to another agency.  Our ONLY goal at The Swetky Agency is to help get your work into print.  We have more expertise in that area than nearly any other agency working today.

Preferred Formatting

  • Page Size: 8-1/2" x 11"

  • Typeface Font and Size: Times New Roman, 12 point, ONLY

  • Title Page: Use a separate title page that includes your contact information (name, address, e-mail, etc.) or the Agency's contact information at the top left (single spaced), number of words at the top right (use the Tab key to position the cursor where you want it), title and by-line centered a comfortable distance below the contact information

  • Body Copy Spacing: Use double-spaced body copy throughout

  • Margins: One-inch top, bottom, left, and right.  Align copy flush left and ragged right.  Always set up your document by using the tab, header, center key, flush-left key, File/Page Setup options, and Format/Paragraph options to establish indents and other formatting--don't do it manually by hitting the space bar 30 times to center a title, for instance

  • New Chapters: Begin each new chapter on a new page, about 10 double-spaced lines from the top of the page

  • Running Head: Include a running head that contains manuscript title, author's name, and page number, all flush left, in this format: HAWAII / Michener, Page #

  • Running Head Typeface Font and Size: Same as body copy--Times New Roman, 12 point

  • Running Foot: Do not use a running foot ever



If you have any questions or problems regarding formatting your book, please don't hesitate to contact Faye M. Swetky directly via e-mail at the address below.



NOTE: All material on this site is copyright protected.  No portion of this material may be copied or reproduced, either electronically,  mechanically, or by any other means, for resale or distribution without the written consent of the author.  All copy has been dated and registered with the American Society of Authors and Writers.  Copyright 2007 by The Swetky Agency