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Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript 3rd Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Like I said, it's no deal breaker, but it would've been nice to be clear on it.
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.Read more ›
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?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Superb book on the ins and outs of submitting your manuscript. Well worth the money spent, and Chuck does a great job of sorting it all out. A must for your bookshelf!Published 6 months ago by Paul H. Grignon
This edition of Formatting and Submitting Your Manuscript is still the third edition, which was first distributed in August, 2009. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Herbert H. Highstone
wow- is this book out of date - there was very little useable information in this book and no - I'm talking no formatting information - don't waste your money - I wasted mine and I... Read morePublished 20 months ago by crazy cat lady