Ok people. There is so much argument over manuscript font....I want to know, what is the correct font? If I had a nickel for every time I changed the font on my work in progress, I wouldn't need to try to get published because I'd give Bill Gates a run for his money....right now I have it in Courier New-in my opinion the correct one. What are your thoughts?

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Stick with Courier or Times New Roman, 12pt. font.
I always used Courier new or TNR, as BR suggests, but I recently sent in a submission where the publisher specifically requested authors not to use Courier, so I'm sticking with Times New Roman now.
I have noticed more and more agents and editors preferring TNR, so that my default manuscript font too.
Sometimes the font is specified in the submission guidelines, and sometimes not. Just go with something that's not san serif, like Courier or Times New Roman. It's easier to read for most people, and when you're reading lots of things everyday like agents and editors do, you don't want something that's going to cause eye strain.

I'm pretty much strictly TNR 12 pt, unless I've temporarily changed the font while proofreading to make the errors easier to see.
As an editor and writer I would always use and recommend Times New Roman 12 pt.
Is there a reliable microsoft word page to hardback/paperback calculation out there? I'm going by word count most of the time but that takes math and there's a good reason I'm a writer and not an economist.
I had found one before that specified margins, font, &c. but haven't been able to find it again.
That would depend which font the books use ;) I was thrilled to see my books were in, "Sabon and Bubba Love." I don't care what it looked like, it's just great to see a book typeset in, "Bubba Love."

I really thought this was only a discussion in the screenwriter world, I didn't realize it applied to manuscripts as well.
John's point is well taken. It depends on the font, page size, and spacing used in the final product. Robert B. Parker's publisher (I forget who it is right now) can milk 350 pages out the short stories he writes for Spenser nowadays.

The rule of thumb I was taught is to divide the word count by 250, which brings a 100,000 word book in at about 400 pages. That seems close enough for estimation purposes.
Well to be honest, I use the word count right in MS word. It's completely accurate. I took a MS word count of just my first page and then manually counted it. It was dead on. I have heard the "250 to a page" rule is a little arbitrary sometimes depending on the font. So if my MS word count gives me a final count of say 75,219, I will indicate that it is around 75,000.
I think that's all anyone asks. Most guidelines I've seen ask fro an "approximate" word count. There's a difference in how a 75,000 word book is marketed, as opposed to a 125,000 word book, but I don't think anyone cares about a few hundred words one way or the other when you're talking about novel.
Times New Roman. I suspect you get more words on a page with TNR than with Courier.
If there are no specific guidelines, the bottom line for your manuscript font is simply this: make sure it's clear and readable. That's all we ask. The font a ms is in has no bearing on what will appear in the published book -- our designers will determine that.


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