When submitting a manuscript to a publisher, magazine, or an agent, there are certain steps which a writer must take to polish and perfect his or her presentation. No matter how well-written or eloquent a manuscript may be, the following of guidelines, rules, and regulations of format are essential in improving your chance of being published.
The first step in preparing a manuscript after the given revision, editing, and spell checking is to list your full name (even if the story is listed under a pseudonym), address and phone number on the upper left corner. In the upper right corner, place an indication of the approximate word count of the material. All of this information should be single-spaced. Then, drop one-third of the way down the page and center the title in capital letters. After doing this, double spacing should be set on either the computer or the typewriter you are using. After one double space, type "by" and then two lines after that, type in your name or pseudonym. After finishing the title and byline, drop down two double spaces and begin the text of the manuscript.
Within the body of the manuscript, double spaces should always be used, for they are a necessity to editors who must make corrections to your work. Margins should be set to 1.5 on each side for this same reason, and the CPI (Characters Per Inch) should be set between 10 and 12. The preferred font settings are Times New Roman and Courier New. On each page following the title page, type your last name and a dash indicating the page number (Hughes--2, Hughes--3, etc.).
When writing a novel, the format may differ a bit, for each page would include the title of the book as well as the author's last name and page number (Hughes--4--Antiguan Dreamer). Following the format of the title page, each chapter should have a new page with the top one-third of the page blank before placing the chapter title. If finishing a story, it is necessary to drop two lines down after the last line, and in bold letters, type "The End". This will assure the editor that you're finished with your story.
As far as submitting poetry goes, poems should be single-spaced, at a rate of one poem per page. The only time double spacing would need to be used is during stanzas. If a poem requires more than one page, simply type or write "continued" on the bottom of the page, so that the editor reading your material will not assume that the poem has already ended if pages become separated.
After following these key steps, attach your pages together with paper clips, and place your manuscript in an envelope of the right size along with the necessary postage. Be sure to never bind or staple your manuscript in any way, and to always include a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) with adequate return postage that will hold your manuscript. By following these imperative guidelines, your chances of impressing editors and proofreaders as well as being published will drastically improve.