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Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript 3rd Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1582975719
ISBN-10: 158297571X
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript
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  • The Writer's Digest Guide To Query Letters
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Chuck Sambuchino, Cincinnati, OH, is an editor, best-selling humor book author, and authority on how to get published. He works for Writer's Digest Books and edits the Guide to Literary Agents and the Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market. His Guide to Literary Agents Blog all about agents, submissions, and platform is one of the largest blogs in publishing.
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Product Details

  • Series: Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript
  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Writer's Digest Books; 3 edition (August 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158297571X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582975719
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.7 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #266,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kerrie Flanagan on March 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
After I finished reading the book, Formatting and Submitting Your Manuscript by Chuck Sambuchino, I said to myself, "Where have you been all my writing life?" This book is to formatting as Strunk and White is to grammar.

Over the past decade as a writer, I have read many books and articles about formatting. I have learned the basic rules for manuscripts, articles and queries, but I don't recall reading specifically about the correct layout for the front and back matter of a book, the table of contents or how to format the dedication and acknowledgement pages. This book has it all. A huge selling point of this book is all the examples including query letters (some even include comments from agents and editors), screenplays, articles, letters and manuscripts.

But this book doesn't stop there. Every section is packed with do's and don'ts, like when sending a query for your novel, "Do address your letter to a specific agent or editor," or "Don't state that some other agent or editor rejected your novel." There are also insights from industry professionals and information specific to a variety of genres.

The goal of most writers is to be published. Sambuchino has taken out any of the guesswork involved with sending in submissions, therefore significantly increasing the chances of being published. I loved it and believe it is a must have book for any writers personal reference library.
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I brought this for formatting book submissions. Pleasantly surprised to see it also discussions screenplays. This book also breaks down the different genres of books (fiction, nonn-fiction, childrens, romance, etc.) Informative and well written.
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I pretty much agree with the 5 star reviews this book is getting. But there was just one small problem I had (not a deal breaker) but didn't see it mentioned by any of the reviews. It was under FORMATTING FICTION: Chapter Page setting says you should type it along with the chapter title 1/3 of the way down the page. Some of us will say, "How many line space down is that?" So I had to look to another highly recommended book 'Gregg's reference manual' for that answer. Which is, 6 lines down the page, and between that and the text another 2 or 3 lines.

Like I said, it's no deal breaker, but it would've been nice to be clear on it.
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This is a useful book any writer will find helpful. It's got you covered no matter what market you're trying to crack, from nonfiction to fiction (including screenplays, magazines, poetry, etc.). Written and electronic submissions are covered. Samples include a "correct" and "incorrect" version for side-by-side comparison with the reasons why each works or doesn't clearly pointed out. Most of the information you need to know how to properly and professionally submit your writing to any market is here, spelled out clearly and concisely.

There are a few problems however:

1) There is absolutely NO information on how to pitch an anthology or series! With more and more publishers wanting to establish franchises like Harry Potter, Twilight, Divergent, and the Hunger Games, this is a major oversight that needs to be addressed in future editions.

2) I would have liked to see a few extra sample pages for the "correct" novel outline that encompassed a complete chapter rather than just the first page. As presented, it says to write "chapter-by-chapter outline" on each page of your outline, but is this really necessary if a chapter description requires an extra page? Which many easily could, because of the 1" margins, double-spacing, and line breaks! This is not made clear.

3) Furthermore, there is not enough advice on the best way to write a synopsis, which is your novel's most important marketing tool to agents and publishers. I had to search all over the web to piece together the necessary advice when this should have been provided in the book.

4) There were not that many "exclusive tips" from leading agents and editors as promised on the cover, and they were all pretty much just common sense advice, nothing earth-shattering.
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Initially, I bought this book just to see how to properly format my manuscript, but while I was only going after silver, I got gold. I was pleasantly surprised to not only find numerous examples of the correct and incorrect formatting of a manuscript, but positive feedback from editors and agents, about what to and what not to do, was provided as well. It also helped me to finally get my query letter to where I wanted it to be. The most positive aspect of this book, that I haven't seen in others, is that it covers every genre of writing; from novels all the way to screenplays. Tailor suited information for each defined genre is available, with examples and comments to go along. This book is very informative and would be a great addition to any up-and-coming or aspiring author's bookshelf. I've constantly opened this book since I've gotten it. I would consider it a definite must have. It's one purchase I will not regret.
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Format: Paperback
With all the conflicting information regarding formatting out there in the blogosphere, whether you're a screenwriter, novelist, or freelancer, the 3rd Edition of FORMATTING & SUBMITTING YOUR MANUSCRIPT (Writer's Digest Books) is a one-stop resource you cannot do without.

Chuck Sambuchino and a slew of other editors of Writer's Digest Books have outdone previous editions of FSYM as well as similar books on the market because, not only do they provide detailed instructions on how to format screenplays, scripts, and manuscripts, they also demonstrate how to put together query letters and nonfiction book proposals. They show dozens of good AND bad examples to boot, so you can see where you fall on the spectrum.

In addition to formatting Do's and Don'ts, FSYM is loaded with tips from industry professionals such as literary agents, award-winning authors, screenwriters, playwrights, editors, and producers. Aside from all the great info, one of my favorite aspects of this edition is that Sambuchino and the gang use THE OFFICE, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, as well as other popular, modern shows to demonstrate proper style. Not only is it cool to see snippets of your favorite TV shows' scripts, but this touch makes the whole thing more authentic - to see this formatting in action in a "real" script as opposed to a generic one crafted by the editors just to give the example.

I highly recommend it, no matter what kind of writing you do - no matter where you are in your career. Sambuchino and his colleagues do a great job of explaining the query and submission processes in ways that are palatable enough for beginners to understand; but they also pack each page with information even the most seasoned scribes need.

I didn't even bother making room for FSYM on my bookshelf because it's one of those titles I reach for so often, it didn't make sense to keep it out of arms' reach.

Um ... did you order it yet?
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