Monday, August 6, 2012

New (to me) Formatting Book Chapter Rules

I am working with writing coach Alice Crider on a book about how a follower of Jesus signs on for a lifelong apprenticeship to the Holy Spirit.

Alice cited three changes I needed to make in the way I formatted the chapters. She explained that these changes make it easier for a publisher to format the book.

First Sentence after the Title

I have always indented the first sentence of the first paragraph in my book chapter manuscripts, just like I indent all the other double-spaced paragraphs when I using “double space.” In fact, my  Word program does that automatically.

Now I know the first line of the first paragraph should not be indented at all. The first word should be flush with the left margin.

No Tab for Subheadings

Because my Word  program  is set to indent the first word of a new paragraph, I have always left my subheadings indented. But that is not correct. A subheading should be flush with the left margin, just like the two subheadings above.

Add an Extra Line before a Subheading

I’ve never added extra lines before a subheading. However, I did in the subheading  above this paragraph. Just hit the “Enter” key twice at the conclusion of the paragraph before the subheading and it will format either with a single or double space, according to which line spacing you are using in the manuscript.

I was excited to learn theses editing rules, for who doesn’t want to impress a possible publisher with their correct formatting skills?

Thanks, Alice!

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