Thursday, March 22, 2012

AQ4U ~ Formatting

Yay! Our first AQ4U. Thank you to everyone who has emailed questions. And thanks to those who will participate with answers. 


I had a couple on this topic so I'll post both: 


I've noticed that when I upload my MS to my e-reader  a lot of the formatting goes wonky--mainly about half the tabs at the beginning of paragraphs disappear.  Since most agents read ms's on e-readers, I'd like to know how to format my ms in Word so that doesn't happen.  Any ideas?  Actually it'd be pretty awesome if there was a post about formatting in general--more than just the double-space, TNR, info.

For Example:

Changing the properties so your MS shows up on an e-reader with your title and name (Laura Bradford tweeted about this)

Title, author, page number formatting (Janet Reid just complained about this)

Is there some way to format ms's not using tabs in Word?  I think I've heard someone tweeting about this (Sarah LaPolla maybe?)

AND

How do agents really want manuscripts formatted?  I've seen so many answers and options and agent websites and blogs rarely focus on the particulars.  Double spaced, 1 inch margins is pretty much a given, but should it be in Courier New or TNR?  Where do the page numbers go?  What goes in the header? (Title/Name/Pg, Name/Title/Pg, Last Name only/Title/Pg or full name, etc).  Start each chapter 1/3 down the page or at the top?  And does any of it really matter?

*I'd like to post names with questions when allowed. If you two could let me know if that's okay or not.

As for me, I followed the guidelines listed on Vickie Motter's blog on formatting. Check it out.

All advice welcome...


16 comments:

  1. I follow Vickie Motter's blog post on formatting. Also www.camarshall.com has a great post on formatting. Great post! <3

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  2. I also like the wealth advice on formatting at the AgentQuery.com page. I love their sample manuscript, "Erotic Sunrise, by Marcia Brady". It's worth reading for that alone. http://www.agentquery.com/format_tips.aspx

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  3. I used Vickie Motter's post, too. :)

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  5. vickie says 1" margins, but I have also seen people ask for 1.25" (gives more room for notes), so be sure to check each agent's fine print :)

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    1. I find this odd. The agents asking for 1.25, are they requesting hard copies or e-copies? The only reason I would ask for 1.25 is if it is in hard form. In that case, ya, extra margins for notes would be great. But, as you say, check the fine print.

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    2. I agree, it's odd. I also noticed a particular agent requesting two spaces after a period, specifically for room for notation within a paragraph. To each their own! I'm just relieved to see specifics when they are expected! :)

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  6. I follow Vickie Motter's guidelines, but it would please me greatly if agents, contest coordinators, etc. would close themselves up in a room and not come out until they all agree on uniform format requirements. Just saying.

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  7. I followed Vickie Motter's blog post also. It was so helpful!

    Though, it was a bit hard to translate the inches into Centimetres. I wish some agents would include that as an aside, so those of us on the metric system don't get confused!

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  8. Instead of tabs in Word, go to formatting and put in first line instead of tab and it will automatically tab for you.

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  9. I agree! Vickie Motter's formatting post was a must-have during my querying process!

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  10. Aw, thanks guys, and thanks Cupid for the shout out! I'm so glad the blog post has been able to help you guys. And most agents will accept my guidelines (I haven't been told otherwise).

    To answer the second set of questions, you can put a combination of Title/Name/Pg# in the header, full names or partials don't matter. The header disappears on an e-reader. Chapters at the top of the page or a third down really doesn't matter. At least, I don't notice unless there's a big blank page on my e-reader.

    Also, I'd like to include: be sure your name and title is IN your document on a title page so we know what it is and who it belongs to, and save the file with the title (100 pages or full ms is confusing when we have twenty on our e-readers).

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    1. Thanks for all the replies everyone!!! Hope it helps those who asked!

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  11. Thanks so much for answering my question (the second). Vickie, your blog is extremely helpful. Cupid, thanks for posting!

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