10 Formatting Tips Your Editor Wants You To Learn

10 Formatting Tips Your Editor Wants You To Learn

10 Formatting Tips Your Editor Wants You To Learn

If you’re trying to make your life easier as an author, it all starts with making it easier for your editor by using these awesome formatting tips!


Which author or writer doesn’t need to know more formatting tips to make their editor’s lives easier?

Asking your friends and family to be your editor opens a whole can of worms that many of us don’t need in our lives. While it’s great to have friends read your work, having a professional editor work on your manuscript is always 100% the best option.

However, when it comes to your editor, you should do everything possible to make your editor feel like you’re doing everything possible to make their life easier. What’s the easiest way to do that? It all starts with formatting. Don’t get us wrong either; we’re not talking about the final formatting of your manuscript.

No, these formatting suggestions revolve around making life as easy as possible for your editor. Why? Because great editors are extremely difficult to find, and when you get one, you should hold onto them for dear life!

The easier you make it to edit your book, the faster your editor will be able to finish, and you’ll save both time and money in the process. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved. Almost all these tips can be incorporated into a template. So, once you set them up, you’ll be able to use them time and time again.

If you’re an Australian author who’s planning on self-publishing your book on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), IngramSpark Publishing, or any of the other top self-publishing platforms and require any self-publishing services, don’t hesitate to contact us at Author Services Australia.


10 Formatting Tips Your Editor Will Love

We’ve done our best to make these formatting tips for your editor as universal as possible. Some editors will have their personal preferences. One of the best things that you can do is speak to your editor about how they prefer their manuscript and work together to come up with a format you both love.


One. Black, 12-Point, Times New Roman Font

We know it’s boring, but the great thing about this font is that it’s on almost every computer and word-processing program in the world. If you love to add crazy fonts and styles, save them later when your interior formatter does its work!


Two. Set your Page to 8.5 x 11 Inches and your Margins to 1 Inch all around

Your Microsoft Word default should be set to these parameters, but take a minute and make sure.

            • To set the page size in Word, go to File > Page Setup and look at the drop-down menu for Page Size.
            • To set margins in Word, go to Format > Document.


Three. Set Your Alignment to Left Justified

Many people like to write with justified text where your text is even on both sides of the document, but the easiest way for your editor to catch any edits is with it justified to the left margin only.

            • To set alignment in Word, select all of your text, then click the left justification icon in the Home tab or select Format > Paragraph and choose “Left” in the Alignment drop-down box.


Four. One Space After A Period

If you were trained to always double space after a period, then it’s time to retrain yourself, starting from right now! Once everything went digital, we switched to a single space. If you’re 150000 words into your manuscript and just freaked out, relax.

            • Use your Find and Replace tool. Type two spaces into ‘find’ and one space into ‘replace’ and then just hit ‘replace all’ like you don’t have a care in the world.


Five. Double Space Those Lines

Double-spacing your lines gives your editor the best opportunity to see all your words.

            • Word, click Format > Paragraph, then select ‘double’ in the drop-down box under ‘line spacing.’


Six. Indent Your Paragraphs 0.5 Inches, but Don’t Use Tab or Space!

Setting your indents should never be done with your tab button or space bar. Just don’t do it!

            • In Microsoft Word, set indentation using Format > Paragraph. Under ‘Indentation’ and by ‘left,’ type .5. under ‘special,’ then choose ‘first line’ from the drop-down menu.


Seven. Format Your Paragraphs Specific to Your Genre Standard

Non-fiction authors should opt out of indentations if paragraphs are separated by a full-page break, but fiction authors should use indented paragraphs without full paragraph breaks. If you want to know what your particular genre is doing, check out a few books and look at how they are formatted.


Eight. Always Use Page Breaks

When you want to start a new chapter, don’t just keep smashing that ENTER button until you get to the top of the next page. Page breaks are there for a reason, people!

            • In Microsoft Word, place your cursor at the end of a chapter, then click ‘insert > break > page break’ in Word’s top menu.

Nine. Number the Pages

Never start numbering your pages on the title page. Your page numbering should always start on the first page of your story.

            • In Microsoft Word, double-click within the header area of the page on which your story begins and click ‘Insert > Page Numbers,’ then select your preferred options. You should generally choose to place your page numbers at the top left of the page.


Ten. Send Your Manuscript as One Document

Microsoft Word is one of the best ways to send your manuscript as it has Track Changes which almost all good editors use. Also, don’t send chapters through to your editor unless you have specifically requested this or it was arranged prior.


10 Formatting Tips Your Editor Wants You To Learn – Conclusion

Hopefully, your editor will love you just a little bit more once you get all these tips completed the next time you send in a manuscript.

If you have any questions about the self-publishing, editing, or book formatting process, please don’t hesitate to contact us

At Author Services Australia, we support Australian and New Zealand self-published authors and writers with a full range of affordable self-publishing services, including ghostwriting, copyediting, developmental editing, proofreading, ebook and paperback formatting, book cover design, manuscript uploading assistance, social media and marketing.

Do you have a formatting tip that you’ve learned throughout your self-publishing career? Drop a comment below. We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback. Making your editor’s life as easy as possible is always a good idea. Finding great editors that are easy to work with isn’t always easy, so you need to do your best to keep them happy. Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to avoid missing out on any future author news and updates.

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