Format of Your Manuscript’s Title Page

Q: I’d like to know exactly how to set up my manuscript. I keep getting different advice on where to put the name of the publisher, my name, address, email addy, etc. on the manuscript that I send in to the publisher.

Please tell me in precise and understandable instructions. I’m very confused as to how to set the manuscript. -Sue


A:
As I understand your question, you want to know how to set up the title page on a manuscript, which is a page all its own.

First, you get conflicting advice because title pages can vary and still be acceptable. I’ll quote you from the authority I prefer for formats, “The Writer’s Digest Guide To Manuscript Formats” (Writers Digest Books). It says the word count goes on the first line of the title page, on the far right. The next lines down (flush left) should be your name, address, phone, e-mail and social security number. Space down 16 or 18 spaces and center the title of the novel or nonfiction book, and type it in all caps. Drop down two lines and type “A Novel by” (for fiction) or “A Book by” (for nonfiction). Drop two more lines and type your name.

Do not put a publisher’s name on the title page, because the manuscript has not been published. If you have an agent, his or her name, address and phone number should appear at the bottom right of the page. If you are sending the manuscript to an agent who has not yet agreed to represent you, do not assume a relationship and put his or her name in the agent slot. Put it there only after the agent tells you to add it.

Bobbie Christmas
Owner of Zebra Communications, a Literary Services Firm