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The article is evaluated How to Format a Picture Book Manuscript for Publishers
Note: This post contains outdated information. You can find more recent information here: How to Format Your Picture Book TextWhen submitting to traditional publishers or literary agents, presenting your manuscript professionally is extremely important. Attention to proper formatting will help your submission stand out from the tens of thousands of other submissions that are poorly formatted. Proper formatting not only makes your work more professional, it shows an editor or agent that you know something about this industry and have taken the energy to invest seriously in your work. Proper formatting will instantly put your manuscript ahead of the crowd’s.
- 12pt Times New Roman, black, regular. (I know ZERO editors who prefer Courier! It is not easy on the eyes when you have to read all day. TNR is universally acceptable.) NO FANCY FONTS. I repeat, no fancy fonts and NO COMIC SANS!
- Place your contact details on the upper left of first page:
- Your name
- Your address
- Your phone number
- Your email address
- Your website/blog if you have one (and if it is relevant to being a writer)
- Place the word count at upper right. E.g. Word Count: 570. Round the word count up or down to the nearest ten for picture books.
- Leave 2-3 inches, or 6-8 cm, between your details and the title. This is space for editors or agents to make hand-written notes, if they desire.
- Center the title. I like to use a slightly larger font size (14-16).
- Place your byline centered below the title in 12 pt. TNR.
- You do not need a cover page for picture books; just leave a two or three lines and start the text below the byline.
- Double-space the main text of your story.
- Your page should have 1-inch margins all round. This is Word’s default setting.
- Indent the first line of each paragraph by 0.5.
- Left align paragraphs, ragged right
- No lines between paragraphs
- Only one space between sentences, not two
- Place a header on any subsequent pages with your last name and title on upper left, page number on upper right.
- Follow any other submission guidelines of the publisher you’re targeting.
- Do not include a copyright: a registered copyright is a headache for publishers/agents. A copyright symbol is considered amateurish and unnecessary by traditional publishers and literary agents.
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Frequently asked questions
Watch more videos on the same topic : Quick Tip: How to format your children’s book manuscript for an editor or agent
This question comes up all the time, so we wanted to give you a quick explanation of how to format your children’s story:n 1 – It must be size 12pt font and double-spacedn 2 – You should always indent your paragraphs and make sure you have proper margins (1
How many words should a children’s book manuscript contain?
A children’s book manuscript should generally be between 500 and 1,500 words, depending on the age of the intended audience.
What font should be used when formatting a children’s book manuscript?
When formatting a children’s book manuscript, a standard font such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri should be used.
What margins should be used when formatting a children’s book manuscript?
When formatting a children’s book manuscript, margins should be set to 1 inch all around.
What line spacing should be used when formatting a children’s book manuscript?
When formatting a children’s book manuscript, double-spaced lines should be used.
What page size should be used when formatting a children’s book manuscript?
When formatting a children’s book manuscript, a standard 8.5″ x 11″ page size should be used.