You are here:

Writing Books/Email Submissions: Formatting


I have a very basic question.  As the publishing business continues to move from snail mail to email, it's unclear to me whether agents want email submissions of partial or full manuscripts in single or double spacing.  Can you shed light on this?  Thanks.

Hi, Jim!

It depends on whether the agent/editor has specifically requested a partial or synopsis be in the body of the email, or as an attachment. If in the email body, single space is preferred and you can ignore formatting such as italics. (You'll also have to be careful about quotation marks. Some of the email servers translate smart quotes in MSWord into other symbols. I'd recommend first selecting the partial into another document and saving it as a Rich Text Format .rtf document.)

If an attachment, the standard rules of formatting apply.

Hope that helps. Good Luck!


Writing Books

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Cathy Clamp


I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.


I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

©2017 All rights reserved.