Can you help me format my manuscript for electronic submissions?

Posted on August 28, 2009

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I would like to join an online critique group but I found out that members have to post their manuscripts online and I don’t know how to do that. Also some publishers will accept submissions by email. I know how to attach Word files to an email but I don’t know how to include my manuscript in the body of an email. Can you help me format my manuscript for electronic submissions?

The best way I’ve found to format manuscripts for electronic submission is to use Notepad on my computer. I select all and copy the manuscript from the Word file then paste it into Notepad, which creates a .txt file. Next I adjust any formatting problems. For instance, a manuscript in the body of an email is usually single spaced within each paragraph and doubled spaced between paragraphs, like the format of this blog. If you’re posting a manuscript online it’s a good idea to follow the website or critique group’s recommended format. As an extra precaution, I copy and paste the text from Notepad into the body of an email and send it to myself to make sure it’s formatted properly and doesn’t contain any weird unwanted symbols. Finally I copy and paste the text from Notepad into the email or webpage. 

Another option in Word is to select File and create a new file by clicking Save as Webpage. But I have had more problems with formatting when I used that method. I prefer working in Notepad.

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