Industry standards on formatting a manuscript change from time to time, and not all publishers agree on formatting. But this is what most publishers consider standard today.
Font: Times New Roman or another standard font in 12 point size.
Page Setup: One inch margins on top, bottom, and both sides.
Line Spacing: Double Spaced
First Page: Centered on Page
First Line: Title in all caps
Second Line: A Novel by
Third Line: Author’s Name
Forth Line: If you have an agent, Agented by
Left Side Header: Name, Address, Phone Number, E-mail Address
Right Side Header: Word Count
Header for Other Pages: On right side – Last Name/Name of Manuscript/Page Number
Chapter Headings: Start each new chapter on a new page about 1/3 of the way down the page. Chapter Title should be centered and in all caps. Then double space twice before starting the first paragraph of the chapter.
Paragraphs: Each new paragraph should be indented 5 spaces.
Scene Changes: To signify a scene change, type ### or *** centered on the next line. Then start a new paragraph.
Italics: Standards have change concerning italics. They used to have you underline. Now you should place italics in italics.
Spaces between Sentences: Only use one space, not two, between sentences.
Date or Setting Line at the Beginning of a Scene: If you need to have the date, day, or place at the beginning of a scene, place it in italics and don’t indent. Then start another line for the first paragraph of the scene.
Letters: If you have a letter in the body of your manuscript, indent the letter 10 spaces on each side.
Microsoft Word: If you use Microsoft Word, click here to read more about how to use templates for your manuscript.