Indicating formatting in your manuscript?

Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

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Hi all,

In a book manuscript that I'm typing, there is a letter that the author and I would like to include. We thought that it would be especially effective if it was handwritten rather than typeset in the finished book. I've seen this in other books and it adds a great personal touch and adds a nice graphic touch.

However, I'm not sure if there is a way to indicate this in the manuscript itself? Or if it is advisable to try?

Would really appreciate an answer on this. Thank you.


aka eraser

If the book is accepted for publication you can certainly request that the letter be formatted in handwritten script. It's unlikely your editor will object if it adds to the book.

If you're still in the submission process I wouldn't worry about indicating via an inserted note that the following letter should be written in script. It will take the reader out of the story.

You could set the letter off by narrowing the margins for it or perhaps doing in italics.

During the back-and-forthing of the editorial process a manuscript collects all sorts of scribbled notes and directions in the margins but you want to make your first submission as clean as a whistle.


What Frank said. And

The rule of thumb is to format your book according to the guidelines set forth by the publisher. Don't use special fonts, graphics, etc. Also, documents such as letters are usually italicized in the pre-publication manuscript.

Anything relevant to the book's formatting can be worked out after the book's been accepted. Good luck! :)

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