Children's Book Manuscript FormatManuscript format for children's books
These conditions are valid for sending by e-mail as well as by post, unless otherwise stated. On the first page, enter your name and sender details to the top right or the top lefthand side of the heading (if the manuscript is detached from your covering note, the firm will still have your details).
They want the manuscript to be as legible as possible. It is not that a manuscript must be Times Roman, but it must be in an easily readable type. The typefaces you are currently viewing on this website (Arial) are fine for items or brief plays, but not a good concept for a manuscript.
It is possible to insert a very brief, very basic manuscript for a 14-point manuscript, but you cannot make it bigger or smaller and you cannot toy with fonts and sizing. When the book has reached the point of being designed, the book designers can do that - and you will be able to make proposals.
The manuscript should be left-aligned and right-aligned. A blank character between the records is now the default. When you still follow the old typewriter rules of two rooms and can't get rid of this custom, search and substitute them before sending the manuscript and turn them into separate rooms. "If your manuscript is to be a textbook or journal narrative, or of similar length in non-fiction, don't split it into pages of a few phrases as it would be in a book - just output it as a text.
For a book with sections, add a page breaks at the end of each section and begin the next section with a few rows (whatever looks good, but may be consistent) on the next page. You can only submit the first or a few sections in a single request, but if you have been asked for the whole manuscript, submit it.
Poetic should be in Stanza as you would see it in a book; if the book is a compilation of verses, they can begin on a new page, but don't have to. The underscore was used in the typewriters day to identify words that were correctly italicized when a manuscript was actually type.
Now there is no need not to set the manuscript itself in italic and to use bold face to emphasize it only. See the Chicago Manual of Style for instructions on using italic and bold; whatever you do, be logical. It is important to remember that when you get to the editorial phase, your editor can ask you to adhere to your corporate brand.
Use them in your manuscript, but be sure to check with your editors before submitting the definitive manuscript to find out how the editors will treat the symbols in the manuscript. Don't tie your manuscript. Paperclips (for a storybook ms.) or folders (for a novel) are OK.
To send it in by post, please use a store-sized cover for a picturebook manuscript if you don't care to fold it (you won't be reproached for folding). There are different sized papers in different parts of the world, but that won't be a problem if you send a manuscript from the USA to an Aussie publishing house, for example.
The manuscript should be sent in a simple envelop. If the manuscript is large, please post it by first-class post or priority letter; if you are shipping it international, please use normal aerosta. A number of publishing houses and many agencies now accepts your submission by post, and you can then attach a manuscript or include it in the text of the post, depending on what you specify.
You will generally require the manuscript to be in the default Word.doc format: the newer.docx format can be reconverted back to.doc, but for some it is an annoyance. Please observe the general regulations for hardcopy scripts when you send e-mails. When you send in your manuscript by post, enclose a prepaid, self-addressed cover (SASE) for returning the ms.
unless the publishing house states that it will not give back refused scripts. By following my proposals above, you are already well on the way to a "clean" manuscript. While your publishers may have special needs, in some cases, in addition to those mentioned above, you should not use tabulators or additional line feeds to make things look good or to end a section.
Carolrhoda Books' Andrew Karre produces two video clips showing the work he has to do to create a manuscript for their script. Have a look at the first one to see the fundamental problems you should be aware of when setting up the manuscript: This was Andrew's answer to an older copy of this paper, which he thought he needed some information about from the point of views of someone who works internally, and who regularly needs to clear up scripts.