Format and word count

Everything you need to know about manuscript formatting is here. Allegedly.

There’s so much conflicting information around that it’s hard to be sure exactly what publishers and agents want (my agent was pretty flexible Courier or Times were both fine but the font size was important) but it’s an interesting read, and nicely laid out.

Donna Andrews rambles on about formatting on the Lipstick Chronicles, and gives some useful tips.

An article on Zarina Docken’s blog gives an interesting comparison between different ways of estimating word count.

It’s important to know that not all word counts are equal. MS Office and Openoffice, for example, give different counts for the same text. It depends to some extent on the formatting, and punctuation.



  1. Good stuff. I’m curious, though. Did your agent have or provide any hints about the one space vs. two following sentence ending punctuation? The rest of the site makes perfect sense, but he seems a bit rigid on a point of mechanics that is so widely disputed.

  2. Sam – my agent didn’t mention the space issue. I used one, with no complaints.

    But if you look at the other link to Donna Andrews – she double spaces after each sentence but doesn’t mention it in her article.

  3. Very true. Yet the MLA Style Book indicates one space is the de facto standard. Hence my conflict. I’ll probably stick with one, all the same; it looks better.

Comments are closed.