"We look for a reason to reject manuscripts," an editor-friend said.
I understood what she meant. Editors are overwhelmed and their staffs are smaller these days. More people now try to write, and many of them send multiple submissions for the same article. Instead of getting 300 manuscripts a month as book publishers might have 20 years ago, those same publishers receive 300 a week.
Good editors easily eliminate a high percentage of the manuscripts without reading a word. They need only to look at the layout. "Amateurs won't take time to learn to submit a manuscript properly," another editor complained.
Most publishers provide guidelines on their website. Despite that, a large number of articles and books come to publishers that show the writers haven't looked at the guidelines. Think of it this way: If you send in a manuscript that deviates from the standard look, it's enough to cause an editor to blink. The blink causes the editor to put the pages in the reject basket.
I want to offer a few guidelines to help you get your manuscript read. This will avoid the initial rejection and the editors might actually buy what you've submitted. The guidelines are easy to follow and simple to learn.
Do everything you can to prejudice editors in your favor
by making your manuscript look professional.