Is it standard practice to format a synopsis in the same manner as a manuscript (double line spacing, indented first line, 12 point, aligned left, times new roman size 12) when submitting to an agent/publisher? Or am I ok to switch back to single line spacing and no indentation?

Many thanks.

1 Answer 1


Unless you already have a completed manuscript, you are putting the cart before the horse.

If you intend to use an agent, you'll need to see what that agent requires, which is usually a query--outline, sample chapter, synopsis, and so on. Most agents (and publishers) no longer need or want the manuscript in paper format. Each has differing requirements (usually triple-spaced). But a query differs significantly from the completed manuscript.

There are a variety of books on manuscript preparation, and you should consult them; but you should first determine what the agent/publisher requires. The most important element is to finish your work. Leave everything else until your manuscript is complete.

  • That doesn't actually answer my question I'm afraid. I've completed my manuscript and I've researched which agencies I intend to apply to, but, whilst they all give their guidelines on how to format the sample chapters, none of them indicate if they have a preference for how the synopsis is to be formatted. Do you have any insight?
    – neelyky
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 22:05

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