I've had so many unusual submissions for the LASTING LOVE anthology, I thought I'd make a quick post about submitting a manuscript to an editor or agent. For some reason, writers don't seem aware of the basics that fall under the category of "You can't go wrong," when it comes to submitting manuscripts. And the importance of reading submission guidelines very carefully.
Before computers, it was standard to send hard copy on 8 1/2 x 11 white multi-use paper, double spaced with numbered pages. And always accompanied by a short cover letter with all contact information. Different agents and editors had guidelines that varied, but if you kept it simple and neat and basic, you couldn't go wrong.
Then came computers and there were more choices. But the industry standard didn't really change much. When you don't see specific guidelines, it's always a safe bet to submit a ms as a basic word document, double spaced, 12pt, in times roman. It's also a good idea to put all contact info at the top of the first page, too. This is basic and no one's going to complain.
And when there are specific guidelines, it's important to follow the directions. When it says submit as a word document, don't send a pdf file or a kb file. Send it as a word document. You may prefer pdf files over word, but the editor may not be able to open it or submit it, and that's a shame if the work is really good.