How to Write a Manuscript for Your Book: Tips from an Editor

how to write a manuscript

If you’re thinking about getting your book published, one of the first things you need to do is write a strong, professional manuscript. Book manuscripts are the core foundation of book publishing projects. They set the tone and direction of your book, provide a key reference point for content and structure, and allow you to make a powerful first impression on the editor.

Writing a manuscript can sometimes feel like a daunting task, but don’t worry – we’re here to help! In this blog post, we will share some tips from our editing team on exactly how to write a manuscript that’s sure to make publishers take notice. Whether you’re just starting or you’ve been working on your manuscript for years, these tips will help you get closer to getting published.

The Basics

Before you start writing, it’s essential to understand the basics of a manuscript. A manuscript is a written work submitted to a publisher for consideration. It usually falls into one of two categories: fiction or nonfiction. Most novels are works of fiction, while nonfiction presents factual information.

In terms of structure, a typical manuscript should be around 80,000-90,000 words long (not including the title page, table of contents, or acknowledgments). It should be divided into the following five categories: 

  • The introduction
  • The body
  • The conclusion
  • Appendixes (if necessary)
  • Bibliography

Planning Your Book

Once you understand the basics of a manuscript, it’s time to plan your book. Initial steps include deciding on a topic, outlining your book, and writing a proposal. If you haven't already, be sure to check out our blog post discussing the art of writing the perfect pitch here

The topic of your book is the most crucial part. Publishers want to publish books they believe will sell, so you’ll want to make sure to choose a topic that’s interesting and relevant to your audience. 

Once you have a topic in place, you need to outline your book. Start by creating a table of contents, chapter headings, and a brief summary of each chapter. This gives the publisher an idea of the structure and content of your book.

Writing the Manuscript

Once you have a plan, it’s officially time to write your manuscript. Here is where you will include your book’s introduction, body, and conclusion.  

The introduction should introduce your topic and grab the reader’s attention. The body of your book should cover the main points of your outline. Be sure to provide enough detail here so that the reader understands your argument, but don't go overboard – remember, you still need to leave room for the conclusion. 

The conclusion should summarize your argument and leave the reader with something to think about.

Editing and Revising Your Manuscript

Once you’ve finished writing your manuscript, you’ll need to edit and revise it. You’ll need to check for grammar, punctuation, and proper writing style. Have someone else read your manuscript and give you feedback – the more eyes on your work, the better before professional publication. 

Finally, once you have edited and revised your manuscript, it’s time to submit it to a publisher. Remember that getting published takes a lot of time and patience, so don't get discouraged if you don't receive a response right away. 

Now that you know the basics of writing a book manuscript, it’s time to get started. For more information on getting your book published, reach out to our publishing team today! Click here to get started.  

Picture of Casey Cease

Casey Cease

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