Thursday, 17 July 2008

Question - Should I double space.

Hi Anthony, I'm writing my first book, and I wonder something, should I double space?
I want my book to be about three hundred pages, and if I don't double space, then it's about eighty five pages, its lots of detail crammed onto a page and I'm thinking that might not be right for the first book I have ever written. I think maybe if I keep it double spaced then it will make it easier to read for some people, but I'm not sure. What would your advice be?

  • You should certainly always use double line space - (NOT double word space).
  • You should type (print) on one side of the paper only.
  • You should also leave at least 1" border on both sides, top and bottom.
  • All paragraphs should be indented EXCEPT the first one on each chapter or after a scene break (ie line of stars).
  • Your dialogue should also be on a new paragraph for each person - a thing new writers often forget - so you might find your page count beginning to expand a little by now.
  • For full submission details see my other post Submission Guidleines
  • Try for details of reputable publishers, agents and submission details.

Writing Story Dialogue - 12 Cool Secrets

All About Write - 10 Top Writing Tips

Lens Coating - What Everybody Ought To Know

Question - How do I get published?

Anthony, I'm not a writer, but have found myself writing a book. How do I get published?
I have looked on the interent, but there are so many publishing sites, I dont know what's good and what's not. Can you help ?

Clare, I'm afraid that as a new author you will need to live by the maxim to be not "As Good As" your favourite published authors. You have to be BETTER! The problem is, publishing houses will always go for the safe bet. They're in it to make money, not make you famous. They have a limited number of books they will publish each year. If yours isn't outstanding, I'm afraid you'll not get in, they'll reach for one of their stable of established authors.

To achieve this, you must first of all make sure your manuscript is as good as it can possibly be. Be absolutely certain you've tied all loose ends and make sure you've followed industry standards for presentation.

Edit out ALL unnecessary pronouns and adverbs - nothing screams amateur more than overblown descriptions. Most new writers feel they need to give full descriptions of everything in the book. DON'T. Sometimes what's left out says more than what's in....

When you've cut, cut, and cut; when you've polished it until it glistens, write a short query letter to your chosen publisher. Explain any experience you may have, the genre of the work, the word-count, and present a VERY short synopsis of about 100 words (see book blurbs for examples). Only present a full synopsis IF the publishing house asks you to submit the first three chapters.

In terms of an agent - it's almost as difficult to gain acceptance with a reputable agent as a publishing house. You must go through the same process.

You'll find lists of reputable agents and publishers in several trade oriented books such as Writers and Artist's Yearbook .

End of post - How do I get published?


Writing Story Dialogue - 12 Cool Secrets

All About Write - 10 Top Writing Tips

Lens Coating - What Everybody Ought To Know