Saturday, October 23, 2010

Formatting Your Manuscript

While cleaning out my inbox, I stumbled upon some rather useful information I knew I had to share with you guys! Last semester, while working on my senior thesis, my advisor sent out a handy dandy email detailing how to format your manuscript's front matter. You can download the word document HERE. Also, he provided us with instructions on how to properly number everything, which I've copied and pasted below:

It's kind of a pain, but I'm making you put front matter together because I want you to have practice putting together professional manuscripts; that is, manuscripts that could show up on a publisher's desk and be taken seriously, so seriously, in fact that the editor says to herself: "Wow, this person really knows that they're doing.  They must've done this before!"

Remember:  "Front matter" is publishing lingo for "everything that comes before the first page of your actual fiction, be it a first chapter of a novel or the first page of your first story." I've attached my front matter template once again, just in case you've lost it.

Okay, here's how the page numbering goes so that your front matter is numbered in Roman numerals while the rest of your book is numbered in arabic numbers: 

Step 1:  Make sure your manuscript begins with your title page.

Step 2:  Make sure your EVEN numbered pages in your front matter are blank!  So, go to Insert and click "Page break" to give yourself blank EVEN numbered pages.  This way, page 2 will be the BACK side of page one when you print this thing double-sided.

Step 3:  Go to the first page of your actual writing -- the first page of the first chapter or the first page of the first story in your collection -- and make sure it begins on an ODD numbered page.

Step 4:  Put your cursor on the same line as your title or chapter title, just before the title.  It will look like this: 

[BLINKING CURSOR HERE] Chapter 1: Nate is Amazing

Step 5:  Go to the "Insert" menu once again and choose "Insert Section Break (odd page)"

Step 6:  Go to the "View" menu and choose "View Header and Footer."  This will open the header and footer menu for you, and you'll be able to see boxes (the headers and footers) on your manuscript that are normally invisible.

Step 7:  On the header/footer menu, there will be a button to format your page numbers, OR you can go once more to the "Insert" menu and choose "Insert Page Numbers" and then click the "Format" button when the menu pops up.  Once there, under "Number Format" you should pick regular, standard Arabic numbers and also choose, "Start At: 1"  This will put the # 1 on the first page of your stories or your first chapter.

Step 8:  Scroll up to your front matter.  Notice at the bottom of your document that when you place the cursor on the page, near where you get your page count, it will say "Sec 1."  This is because you've separated the document into two "Sections" where "Sec 1" is your front matter and "Sec 2" is everything else.  

Step 9:  Now that you're in "Sec 1" go to Insert Page Numbers.  Choose Roman Numerals, un-check the "show number on first page" box and click "Okay."

Now you're done!

Here's a link for more info. and it includes pictures!

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