Five Tips to Prepare Your Manuscript for Copy Editing

Editors and authors can be picky. In fact, that’s one of the things that both are known for. 

Authors know exactly how they want their story to pan out, and editors want to help the author make sure the story is as good as it can be.


The following list provides five tips to prepare your manuscript for copy editing. A bit of preparation  is needed before submitting your manuscript to the copy editor so that the editor does not have to ask you to resubmit it with said formatting. 

Other formatting, such as extra spacing, dingbats, and headings can be saved for proofreading.

White cup with coffee, orange flowers and green garland, white paper with wooden pen

Five Tips:

When you are preparing your manuscript for a copy editor, keep these five things in mind:

  1. Double-spaced, 1-inch margins
  2. Times New Roman, 12-pt font
  3. Indent paragraphs to 0.5 in
  4. First line of each chapter or scene change is NOT indented
  5. Check with your copy editor to see if they have preference for Word, Google Docs, or either.

Next Step:

A great extra step is to prepare a style sheet. Style sheets include what dictionaries you like to use, style guide, any capitalizations you want, punctuation irregularities that you want to stick to, etc. 

For an expanded list of manuscript preparations, and access to a style sheet, visit the Author Resources page.

For more information about how I can help you with your proofreading and copy editing, visit the Contact page.

Have an absolutely fantastic day!

Michelle Merritt

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