by Chris
(Orlando Florida )

Question:I am writing a fictional adult fantasy book.

What size page and margins should you use? I am typing on standard 8 1/2 X 11 inches pages. Some say the margin should be this and some that!

Should the size of the page on the computer replicate the size how it may appear in the book itself?

I realize double spacing is required and I am using 12 size font.

scratching my head a lot i will have to cease scratching soon if i am to retain my own hair !


Answer: I empathize with your frustration. But save your hair.

What you want is what typists call a 60-stroke line. That is, 60 characters maximum per line (including spaces).

The reason for this is that editors can then assume an average of five characters and one space per word, so each line will be 10 words, on average.

Generally, you will get a 60-stroke line if you use 1-inch margins, but sometimes there is variation due to different fonts, which is why some people give different advice. It's best to go with Courier font because then each letter will take up the same amount of space, just like on a typewriter.

Also, you want an average of 25 lines per page, which is usually but not always obtained by having 1-inch margins on top and bottom as well.

This allows editors to assume an average of 250 words per page, which makes it very easy for them to estimate how much paper will be needed to print the book.

The format of manuscript pages is not supposed to resemble the printed book. Manuscript format is designed to be easy for editors to read, make notes on, and estimate word counts.

Also, you are correct in using 8 1/2 x 11" paper.

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