Day 1 of Incubating
If you have had your eggs shipped, you want to let them set at room temp, with small end down for at least 8 hours before putting them in the bator.
Temperature-remember your temps should be as close as 99.5 as you can get. Generally keeping it between 99-101 is good.
Humidity-I have always read that they humidity on chicken eggs for the first 18 days is supposed to be 40%-50%. I have had many sticky chicks that I have to help out of the shell and found that the humidity was too high during the first 18 days. So I use the "dry incubation" method. Technically it is not all the way dry, because I still have a bowl of water, but I keep my humidity down at 30%. Here is an article on the method; www.backyardchickens.com/LC-DryIncubation.html
Marking your eggs for turning- If you are going to be turning the eggs by hand, then you need to take a pencil and mark an O on one side and an X on the other. (the horizontal sides)
When you have your incubator set up and it will run at a consistent temp and humidity then turn it on and get it up to temp and humidity, then add your eggs. If you do not have automatic turners, then you will just set the eggs horizontally on the floor of your bator. Make sure they are not sitting in water or touching your light bulbs. Believe it or not, the embryos breathe through the shell. If you get it wet, soiled, oiled, or boiled, they will not live. When you first put the eggs in, your temp will drop, this is normal. Do not adjust your t-stat!!! It just has to warm all those eggs up to temp. It should be up to temp in 3-6 hours or so. I mark the date on the eggs so I know when they are expected to hatch. I use a sharpe and haven't ever had trouble because of it. It should look something like this.