Writer, is Formatting Your Manuscript a Headache?

Photo by averie woodard on Unsplash

One thing that I’ve learned over time is that there are some specific (though not set in stone) requirements to the formatting of a manuscript.

How it looks and how it works do matter!

In my time as a book formatter, I’ve also learned that there are a wide variety of ways to incorrectly format a manuscript. The problems start back at the very beginning, and that’s why I think it’s important for us authors to learn how to format the most basic parts of our works in progress so that our editor doesn’t have to waste any time fixing things we could have done ourselves.

Formatting basics

  • page size
  • margins
  • font
  • indentations
  • hard returns
  • page breaks
  • scene breaks
  • chapter headers
  • and page headers

When we are properly formatting these items ahead of time our editors don’t have to stop and fix them when their time could be better utilized by staying focused on our prose.

Not only do editors love appropriate formatting, it will also give the manuscript a professional appearance when submitting to an agent or publisher.

It even is a great place to start when submitting to contests. The only caveat to this is that we also have to read the submission requirements and/or guidelines to agents, publishers, and contests!

Formatting Help

I’ve put together a seven-part (9 videos) series that is available for free for writers to learn how to fix formatting and set up good formatting in a manuscript before sending it to anyone, including and especially the editor!


Click the link above or find B4 the Editor – Formatting for Writers in the menu above.

If you struggle with formatting, I hope you’ll watch these videos and use them as the helpful tool they are meant to be.

Happy writing!

12 responses to “Writer, is Formatting Your Manuscript a Headache?”

  1. These are awesome! Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so welcome! If you have questions along the way, please feel free to ask. If I don’t know the answer, I generally can find it and help! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Writing Despite Computers and Programmes and commented:
    Rachael is one of the tireless workers for all Writers and her blog is one to be visited and then followed.
    Here is some information which quite frankly is pure gold.
    If you are looking to send your work off…..read, watch, listen and learn

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Invaluable Rachel.
    You are a true champion of the writer. Thank you so much for all your hard work.
    This has to be reblogged
    Best wishes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Roger! I’m always happy to help where I can, if I’m able. I feel most comfortable sharing information/teaching, I think. So doing things like this helps me feel like I have something useful to do, I think. 🙂 Thank you for the reblog!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A very great help to many writers Rachael
        Keep up the good work!
        🌾 💐 🌷 🌹 🥀 🌺 🌸 🌼 🌻 🌞

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow! This is awesome, Rachael.

    I haven’t watched all the videos yet, but I definitely will tomorrow! And I’ll start sharing this right away! I love how you presented the whole thing. Can’t wait to feature it on my website.

    Thank you for doing this! I’m so impressed.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope your writers find it useful! 🙂 Thank you for your support, great editing skills, and being and all-around amazing person! ❤


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