I was about to print my manuscript when a sudden thought occurred to me, do publishers require a certain font?

I didn’t want to print out 50,000 words only to discover it was useless, that costs a lot of money. Is there a certain font I need to use?

  • 4
    I would ask your publisher. And if you don't have one yet, don't print anything. Oct 23, 2020 at 7:54
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    Publishers will ask to see the first chapter or a certain number of words in electronic form. They won't want paper. They usually want Word documents. Oct 23, 2020 at 15:30
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    I was told times new roman 12 font is standard. Most places don't want physical manuscripts anymore, and ask for online submissions, so check about this first.
    – DWKraus
    Oct 23, 2020 at 20:59

2 Answers 2


First off, congratulations on finishing your manuscript. To answer your question, I'm going to quote an excellent writing book called The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman. He talks about a lot of common writing problems from the point of view of an agent or editor, so it tells you a lot about what turns agents and editors off from your manuscript and what you can do to fix that. The very first chapter is about presentation, and he talks about font there:

Your text should be printed in black ink, in a 12-point type font. [...] If your font is too large, [...] it will look abnormal, [...] or too small, [...] it will be hard to read--the last thing you want to give to someone who is overburdened with reading. [...] If you're unsure of the size, always err on the side of making your font too large.

I'll grant you, this book is twenty years old, so things may have changed, but he doesn't specifically mention that one particular font is preferred or required over any others. He just asks that you use a plain, ordinary, easy-to-read font, printed cleanly, not too small, double-spaced and with one-inch margins on either side. He also recommends not using lots of different fonts in the same manuscript.

Having said that. I don't know how many publishers are accepting Internet queries these days, but it seems like it would be a good idea to check that first, before printing anything. Maybe a better plan would be to search for publishers, especially those who specialize in your genre (I'm assuming this is fiction; if not, then your type of work), make a list of the ones who look the most promising, and find out their requirements for manuscript submissions. That way, you can avoid doing anything that would get you rejected out of hand, before anyone even sees your manuscript. If they accept virtual submissions, you won't have to print at all!

Also, as a side note, even if you do need to send in a traditional printed manuscript, it's not recommended to send the entire work in a query. One or two chapters alone should suffice. But again, this is a generalization, and you should make sure you're aware of the requirements of the publishers you're querying!

Once again, congratulations, and good luck!


Many/Most of them will specify a font or fonts or characteristics of a font they will read. Scripts have a standard of 12 point Courier. 12 point is usually good for others but some prefer Times Roman (don't ask me why) while others are sensible and ask for an easy-to-read font.

Many now require electronic submission not printed copies.

For each place you submit to, you should find out their requirements which are often on their website.

I personally would require 12 point Arial Narrow on paper, and for electric, 18 point Arial Narrow. But my eyesight needs help as I get older.

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