How to Format your MS for an e-Reader

Posted by Agent Vickie. Original post can be found on her blog here.

Follow these simple steps to make your ms look great on ereaders (either for your own enjoyment, or to make sure an agent can ignore format and simply enjoy your ms). (Note, I’m using Microsoft Word and Kindle.)

Use Times New Roman 12 pt font or another easy to read equivalent (Arial or Courier). Do not add images.

Next, press Select+A on your keyboard (or go up to the Edit drop down menu and choose Select All), to highlight your entire document. Right click somewhere and go to Paragraph. Under the Indents and Spacing Tab, go to Indentation. Set Left and Right at 0″. Set Special for First Line (this will make your paragraphs automatically indent), by .5″. Don’t ever use the TAB key; this will not show up on an e-reader. You can use Find and Replace (Ctrl+f) to delete all your tabs by using ^t in MS Word

Still fixing Paragraph, go to the label Spacing. Set Before and After to O (zero) pt, and Line Spacing to Double. This will make your paragraphs evenly spaced. Don’t take for granted that your entire ms is properly spaced already, there are always mistakes.

For new chapters, press Ctrl+Enter to get to a new page (if you press Enter too many times then it might show up on the e-reader as a blank page before we get to the new chapter). Once on the new page, you can press enter a few times (only a few) to bring it down on the page. Also, don’t put your chapter titles in fancy fonts. It doesn’t even need to be in a bigger font. Center it or justify it to the left.

Now your ms should be in the correct format. If you have an e-reader handy, or if you can borrow one from a friend, send the doc to yourself and scroll through the pages.

2 Comments:

  1. Wow, thanks! That will be helpful for the mysteries of formatting in general as well.

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