Is Your Manuscript Agent-Ready? Use My Checklist to Make Sure

We are on our second-to-last post in our eight-week series on publishing and editing. We are almost to the end! If you want to check out the six weeks before this, check out the table at the end.

So, you’re ready to submit your manuscript to an agent. Are you absolutely certain it’s up to industry standards? Check out this checklist to be sure.


There are a few basic characteristics your manuscript needs to possess in order to be up to industry standards:

  • Black, 12-point Times New Roman or Courier New font
  • 1- to 1.5-inch margins
  • Double spaced
  • One space between sentences
  • Indent first line of each paragraph 1/2 inch (do not use tab and refer to directions below)

Title Page

The title page is incredibly important to the manuscript. It lets the agent know your contact info, title, and word count.

  • Single-spaced, left-justified contact info
    • Name (your LEGAL name)
    • Address
    • Phone
    • Email
  • Title centered 1/3 to 1/2 way down the page
  • Author name centered one double-space below the title (can be a penname)
  • Rounded word count one double-space below the author name


The page header appears on every page EXCEPT the title page and must include: last name/book title/page number.

Page Numbers

The page numbers start on “1” on the first page after the title page. Refer to the directions below:

Chapter Titles

All new chapters start on a new page, and they should be 1/3 to 1/2 way down the page. You can make the chapter titles bigger if you choose, but it’s not required.


If you must signal a break in the narrative (like a location, time, or perspective change) separate these sections with “#” or “***.”

The End

At the end of the manuscript, one double-space below the final line, write “END” and center it.

Does your manuscript meet these requirements? Is it polished? You may be ready to send it out!

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March 30, 2021How Long Does It Take to Self-Publish Your Novel?
April 6, 2021Is Your Book Ready for an Editor?
April 13, 2021Looking for an Editor? Ask Them These 10 Questions First
April 20, 2021The 8 Questions I Ask Perspective Clients
April 27, 2021Is Your Manuscript Agent-Ready? Use My Checklist to Make Sure
May 4, 20214 Tips to Creating a Mind-Blowing Query Letter

7 thoughts on “Is Your Manuscript Agent-Ready? Use My Checklist to Make Sure

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