View Full Version : Formatting question

08-26-2018, 12:32 AM
I'm going to take a shot at sending a submission package to Tom Doherty Associates, and I really want to get this right.

According to the info on Tor's page they want:

The first three chapters of your book, prepared in standard manuscript format on white paper. (If your chapters are really short or really long, or you don't use chapter breaks, you may send the first 40-60 pages of your book, provided you stay under 10,000 words.)

The first three chapters of my book number 22.000 words and 78 pages (if double spaced). Should I interpret this so that any type of sample sent is to be under 10,000 words? Because that will mean cutting off mid-chapter.

Also, I'm putting the page number, my name and the title in the header of each page. Does the order matter?

Marissa D
08-26-2018, 12:46 AM
Yes, I'd try to keep it under 10k words. Do you have a convenient scene break you could stop at around that point--or a scene break that stops at a nice tense place?

For the header, I usually do title/author at left, and the page number at right.

08-26-2018, 06:56 AM
By "on white paper," are they looking for a printed version?

Also, do they not have their own submission guidelines on a website? I'm wondering about using the guidelines from Tor's page.

08-26-2018, 08:12 PM
if I remember rightly their submission guidelines are indeed buried on a strange place on the web. Probably to discourage casual submitters.

08-29-2018, 12:16 PM
Oh, one other thing: When agents and whatnot ask for, say, the first ten pages, does that mean the first ten pages as double-spaced?

08-29-2018, 12:44 PM
Yes :)

Aggy B.
08-29-2018, 02:21 PM
The page number should go in the righthand corner of the header. I don't know if there's a preference about title/lastname over lastname/title, but Scrivener compiles it with lastname/title. It can all go on a single line (Lastname/Super-Duper SF Novel/pg#) like that, all on the right side so the page number is in the corner of the page.

There's always a little flexibility with the wordcount/pagecount, but don't abuse it. Find a good stopping point a little before or a very little bit after the requested length that doesn't cut off in mid-sentence or paragraph. When I've had to choose I usually go a little shorter rather than a little longer, but that's me. (Personally, a little shorter demonstrates confidence in the work, BUT there are plenty of reasons why a particular MS would need a little more space to find the best stopping point in the general area of the requested length. Looking critically at your MS and finding the best place to stop in that suggested page range is a good thing.)

And any requests for MS pages will be on the assumption you are double-spacing unless the market/agent/editor specifically states otherwise.

Best of luck. :)