A manuscript is the printed copy (also called a hard copy) of your story or novel which you send to a publisher.
Presentation of your manuscript is very important.
Try to get hold of submission guidelines for the publications you’re going to submit to and follow them to the letter.
Never staple or fold your manuscript and don’t place it inside a plastic folder - editors don’t like manuscripts sent to them this way.
Editors usually prefer manuscripts that are double spaced (two spaces between the lines rather than one) and have a one inch margin around the side. The margin is so they can write notes about the story. They should be typed on a good quality typewriter or printed out on a laser printer or good quality inkjet printer.
Your name should go on the cover sheet and some people recommend putting something in the corner of each page to identify the manuscript. This may consist of your surname, and something from the title. For example: tolkein/fellowship.
Submitting your work
If you want your work to be published, you need to send it to a publisher. Work should be sent to the editor.
Only submit your work to one place at a time. If an editor is interested in publishing your work they won’t be too happy if you tell them someone else is buying it. They will be less likely to look at your work again in the future.
Keep track of where you have submitted your work. You don’t want to submit the same piece of work to the same publisher twice. They may view you less favourably as a result.
Most editors won’t have time to write a personal reply and many may not even send a reply. Unless your work has been accepted, you may just receive a standard response letter. This is the norm so don’t be disappointed!
Success and rejection
Stephen King received dozens and dozens or rejections before publishing Carrie. Don’t despair. Keep submitting.
If you receive any feedback from a publisher, consider yourself lucky and act on the advice given. This is sometimes a sign that the editor thinks you show some promise. They may be flattered if you act on their advice and produce a much improved story.
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