Structuring/Designing a Manuscript Title Page

Alrighty, so, I’ve reached that stage where I’m trying to edit and flesh out my manuscript, etc etc. BUT, this one question has been haunting me for a really long time now.

When designing the title page for a manuscript, I’ve seen a bunch of authors who are getting published and/or who have picked up an agent, post the title page on their social media to their novels manuscript. I normally study the differences to get an idea, and what I’ve grasped is, these authors design their title page in the same structure of course, but it is always with the fonts and designs they want on there. Then, when I look up ways to design a title page for a manuscript, I get all of these “this is a proper manuscript” pages with basic fonts, all in the same exact design, thrown at me, as if saying this is how it should be. So, I’m at a loss.

When querying, are there specific fonts you’re supposed to use on your title page? Are there specific structures to be done with the entire manuscript, font and design wise? And if there are supposed to be “proper” ways, how come most authors get away with it when they send off their manuscript? I’m just genuinely confused at this point lol.

I stick with the basics. I want my manuscript to look PROFESSIONAL, not artsy.

No one is going to reject a manuscript because they don’t like the cover page. But it could color their opinion of your level of professionalism.

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And may I ask, what are the basics exactly? Because I’ve seen so many different options and styles, I’m not quite sure what should be on the title page.

https://www.shunn.net/format/novel.html

Nothing fancy. Most agents want Times New roman 12 PT and that’s what I give them. On a separate page. WITHOUT page count (that’s vital) I mention title, author, wc genre and subgenre. Nothing more. It has worked every time. If you want, I can upload the template into google docs for you

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I’d be interested in seeing that.

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Important is the indentation. Not many writers remember that the first para in a chapter or a scene is NOT indented. I didn’t know either when I started and one agent sent me a really stroppy response that she rejected my manuscript because of that. Maybe, she wouldn’t have been a good fit. But she certainly had a point…

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The first paragraph of a chapter is never indented? Isn’t that… really obvious if you open any book?

On a sidenote: what is AWC?

Not really obvious, no. Not to everybody. Not to me for sure. Maybe I’m stupid?
AWC All word count. You can also do WC, but for obvious reasons that looks a bit off…

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Maybe I just notice more things than most.

Does WC mean toilet in English too? I thought that was just a Dutch thing, as I’ve never seen it used in any other country.

I can assure you it is used in many countries!

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Does the spacing between lines have to be this large? I personally prefer my spacing at single

Preferences unfortunately don’t count. Agent requirements rule. Double spacing is the norm as are the margins.

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I see. I didn’t know that.

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One thing is really important - whatever they want - do it. Assuming it is submission-related, of course. If they don#t want attachments, don’t send them. If they want triple space, you do triple space. they want loglines, you send them. They want comps, you send them. I’ve had agents request marketing strategies, sequel plans, full biographies, all social media links - whatever. One person wanted all of it, and it cost me five hours.
Form rejection.
It’s the way it is, unfortunately.

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I’ve seen others mention that some agents want the first handful of pages in the email itself, and not attached. How does one do that? Copy paste it below?

Correct. You create dividers between the various parts and then you copy in all the bumf i.e. synopsis, first pages etc whatever it is they want. It’s a bit finicky, but I guess the purpose is to avoid viruses

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How do you do that? Create dividers?

I just did a little row of stars ****** Then I gave it a header i.e. First ten pages or Synopsis or whatever, to make sure they know what is what.
I also sent it in the order they requested the intel. So, if somebody says “First ten pages, synopsis and short bio” or whatever, I do it in that order. I’ve had agents requesting synopsis, first chapter etc. Then, I put the synopsis up top.
It might be a bit anal, but I don’t trust them not to test us whether we actually read the requirements…

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