Tag Archives: how to format manuscript

Give that Publisher What They Want, Dernit! Finale

I am uber stoker to be able to dig into the wild and crazy brain of someone who is out there doing this crazy publishing stuff professionally. When you read this, you’re gonna want to slap yourself silly, because this is hearing it right from someone who does this for a living. For the next few weeks, we will be delving into the slush pile with professional editor and author Danielle Ackley-McPhail

Here we go…

The Writer’s Toolbox: Give ’Em What They Want! Why Formatting Is Important By Danielle Ackley-McPhail

(Originally published in Allegory Magazine ©2011)


Here is a listing of all the Posts from Danielle on this topic.  Good Stuff if you missed any of them!

Post one Don’t get all creative now!

Post two Duh – Contact Info

Post three Basics 2 – Identifiers

Post four Formatting #1

Post five Formatting #2 Advanced

Post six Ellipses, Emdash, Quotes

Post seven Keep It Simple

Summing Up

You might think this article was about the technical aspects of formatting, but you would only be partially correct. What this article is truly about is respect. If you want to succeed at this dedicated hobby you’ve chosen to pursue (believe me, you don’t want to think of it as a career…it only leads to masses of frustration) then you need to get your head in the correct mindset. You are not alone in your desire. There are countless individuals who want to be authors. There are a considerably less individuals who are in a position to make that possible. Editors have to look through hundreds, even thousands of manuscripts every year. I don’t think I have to tell you that they can’t accept them all. You know what that means? It is your job to make their job as easy for them as possible. You can do that in two ways:

  • Ignore what I’ve shared with you here and start deciding which room you are going to wallpaper with rejections first, or
  • Do everything you can to make your manuscript clean and formatted to the publisher’s preference so that technical issues don’t distract the editor from the creative aspects of your work.

Now I’m not saying if you follow all the submission guidelines your work is guaranteed to be accepted, but I am saying you stand a heck of a better chance of at least getting noticed.

Special Thanks to Danielle Ackley McPhail for this wonderful insider info!

Thanks Danielle!

Award-winning author Danielle Ackley-McPhail has worked both sides of the publishing industry for over seventeen years. Currently, she is a project editor and promotions manager for Dark Quest Books.

Her published works include four urban fantasy novels, Yesterday’s Dreams, Tomorrow’s Memories, Today’s Promise, and The Halfling’s Court: A Bad-Ass Faerie Tale. She is also the author of a single-author collection of science fiction stories called A Legacy of Stars, the non-fiction writers guide, The Literary Handyman and is the senior editor of the Bad-Ass Faeries anthology series, Dragon’s Lure, and In An Iron Cage. Her work is included in numerous other anthologies and collections, including Rum and Runestones, Dark Furies, Breach the Hull, So It Begins, By Other Means, No Man’s Land, Space Pirates, Space Horrors, Barbarians at the Jumpgate, and Mermaid 13.

She is a member of the New Jersey Authors Network and Broad Universe, a writer’s organization focusing on promoting the works of women authors in the speculative genres.

Danielle lives somewhere in New Jersey with husband and fellow writer, Mike McPhail, mother-in-law Teresa, and three extremely spoiled cats. She can be found on LiveJournal (damcphail, badassfaeries, darkquestbooks, lit_handyman), Facebook (Danielle Ackley-McPhail), and Twitter (DAckley-McPhail). To learn more about her work, visit http://www.sidhenadaire.com, http://www.literaryhandyman.com, or www.badassfaeries.com.

Website and/or blog www.sidhenadaire.com, http://lit_handyman.livejournal.com, http://damcphail.livejournal.com

Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/DMcPhail

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/#!/danielle.ackleymcphail

Amazon author page   http://www.amazon.com/Danielle-Ackley-McPhail/e/B002GZVZPQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1331314265&sr=8-1

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/989939.Danielle_Ackley_McPhail



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