Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 30

Thread: Standard Submission

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    276

    Standard Submission

    What is a standard submission to send an agent, if they don't have specifications in their description. It just says "send submissions to" and then it gives their email address.

    I'm trying to figure out if I should have attachments, or put everything in the body of the email, as well as what I should put in the body, attachments, etc.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Benefactor Member Nymtoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Between the lines
    Posts
    34,107
    The Dos and Donts of Submitting to a Literary Agent Ingrid's Notes

    This, along with other advice you should get from experienced people in this forum.

    "The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they've found it. ~ Terry Pratchett

  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW Al Stevens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    2,512
    I wish there was a standard.

    There are many variations of what agents (and editors) want in submissions. Query letter only, QL + bio, QL + synopsis, QL + n pages or n chapters, submitted materials as attachments or in the body of the query, attachments as .doc, .rtf, etc., the whole query on a form on the website, email only, snail mail only, And, of course, which manuscript formats they prefer.

    You can send 100 queries out according to the many submission guidelines, and it is conceivable that no two submissions will be the same.

    Sometimes I think we ought to just put our queries on ebay and let them bid on the books. (Just kidding.)

  4. #4
    My New Cat Is Too Big for Shoulders Corinne Duyvis's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Posts
    884
    Safest bet is query letter (which includes a one-paragraph bio) plus 5-10 pages in the body of the e-mail. Optionally, you can add a synopsis after that if you have one you like.

    Never send attachments uninvited.

    Good luck!
    Website
    Twitter
    Disability in Kidlit


    "Subtle, nuanced examinations of power dynamics and privilege." BCCB ★
    OTHERBOUND, recipient of four starred reviews, is now in stores!

    ON THE EDGE OF GONE coming March 2016

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    276
    Quote Originally Posted by Corinne Duyvis View Post
    Safest bet is query letter (which includes a one-paragraph bio) plus 5-10 pages in the body of the e-mail. Optionally, you can add a synopsis after that if you have one you like.

    Never send attachments uninvited.

    Good luck!
    Okay, that is the type of info I'm looking for.

    There are many variations of what agents (and editors) want in submissions. Query letter only, QL + bio, QL + synopsis, QL + n pages or n chapters, submitted materials as attachments or in the body of the query, attachments as .doc, .rtf, etc., the whole query on a form on the website, email only, snail mail only, And, of course, which manuscript formats they prefer.

    But I'm talking about if they don't have any specifications listed. I'd like to know the most typical thing knowledgeable aspiring authors send to these agents, many of whom (it seems) don't list specifications.

    Thanks everyone!

  6. #6
    Inappropriate Charmer Saanen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,093
    I actually had this come up just yesterday. The agent I wanted to query had no submission info on her profile on the agency's website, there were no general query guidelines on the agency's website, and QueryTracker and AgentQuery didn't have entries on her (she's a rookie agent at an established agency). I ended up emailing her my query letter with the first five pages pasted below.
    Visit my website!

  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    276
    ^^^
    Cool. Hopefully that is acceptable. It probably is, but I just want to be certain.

    Anyone else have any input?

  8. #8
    Listening to my other selves Erin's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,612
    I always send query and first 5 pages after query, all embedded in email. Absolutely no attachments!
    VIGILANTE NIGHTS: YA Contemporary - Available NOW! (Merit Press/F+W Media).

    Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

    Want to keep up with my latest news and releases? Subscribe to my Newsletter for exclusive subscriber only content and giveaways!



  9. #9
    The 1st Rule of Write Club: Write! Jamiekswriter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    1,224
    Yeah I'd send the query with the first five pages pasted in below the query. If they don't want to read the pages, they won't. But if your query interests them, they've got the 1st five pages to clinch their interest. Good luck!
    The Queen's Wings by Jamie K. Schmidt
    Heat: Club Inferno
    Longing: Club Inferno book 2
    Fever: Club Inferno book 3--Coming 2015
    Spice co-authored with Jenna Jameson
    http://www.amazon.com/Spice-Fate-Jen...ds=spice+jamie
    Shifting Currents by Lissa Trevor
    Triad
    Menage A Musketeer--Coming 2015

  10. #10
    figuring it all out
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    94
    Some agents have spam filters that block queries with attachments. If they have guidelines for submissions, they will usually mention this. I wouldn't use an attachment unless an agent specifically asks for it. As others have said, it's safest to paste to the body of the email.

  11. #11
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    6,272
    Another vote for query letter plus first five pages.
    If it was good enough for Miss Snark.....
    Behind the smile, there's danger and a promise to be told.

  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    276

    Trying to get to the bottom of this

    Tonight on twitter there was this hashtag called ask #askagent where everyone could ask agents questions.

    I asked them if an agent gives no specifications for submitting queries, should you send them the query and five pages or the query and ten pages. Anyway, one of the agents tells me "no pages, just the query."

    I'm trying to figure out if that is the way to go. I don't want to be presumptuous by sending people five or ten pages when all they wanted was the query.

    Then others have said five, and another (credible) person told me ten.

    Anyway, the whole topic seems abstruse. But does anyone know anything solid on this, or is it kind of vague in general?

    Thanks!

  13. #13
    I would agree with the agent. No pages, just query. If they want pages, they'll ask. (or specify on the page.)
    Homepage
    Twitter



    Originally Posted by Clovia
    The residue on the mirror is Soylent Green. It's people! Velociraptor blow is peeeeeoppplllle!

  14. #14
    That hairy-handed gent
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Who ran amok in Kent
    Posts
    31,590
    And our own illustrious JamesARitchie will tell you to send some sample pages with your query regardless of what the agent says.

    caw

  15. #15
    This hat is getting too hot Chumplet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Ontario, Canader
    Posts
    3,176
    If they say query only, I just send the query. If they ask for pages, I send pages. I don't want to risk an automatic reject. But agents are humans. In some cases, they'll read the pages if the query sparks their interest, even if they didn't ask for pages.

    If you have a good instinct about the agent, send a few pages and cross your fingers.

  16. #16
    Rewriting My Destiny Cyia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Brillig in the slithy toves...
    Posts
    15,272
    Quote Originally Posted by blacbird View Post
    And our own illustrious JamesARitchie will tell you to send some sample pages with your query regardless of what the agent says.
    This is one of the few times I'd agree with him.
    <----Look! NEW BOOK!



  17. #17
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Or the Master. Whatever.
    Posts
    10,589
    I always sent five pages at the end unless the agent specifically said "Any queries that include sample pages will be rejected." I think there were only about three out of the hundreds that I looked through.

    I heard that advice from Janet Reid, for what it's worth.
    "You will experience a tingling sensation and then death."

    And just because it's still awesome: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSgiXGELjbc

    Take two: 90,008
    Current: 7,680



  18. #18
    Have Harp Will Travel JSSchley's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    in ur B&N...facin out AWers bookz...
    Posts
    929
    I'm with Kaitie, and heard the advice from the same place.

    By all means, research and send what each specific agent requests in the form that s/he requests it. But if they don't specify, query +5 is a good way to go.

  19. #19
    Writer is as Writer does Terie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Manchester, UK
    Posts
    4,167
    You already asked this same question here a few days ago. You won't get different answers by starting new threads.
    Changing Gears (available now) -- Winning the race doesnt equal winning at life.

    The DragonSpawn Cycle: AutumnQuest | WinterMaejic | SpringFire | SummerDanse available for Kindle

    Author website | Author blog

  20. #20
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    In chaos
    Posts
    18,514
    Taylor, please don't start multiple threads on what is essentially the same subject. I'm going to merge this with the near-identical thread you started three days ago.

  21. #21
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    28
    The question here is, in the absence of a directive either to include or exclude the five pages, whether you include them. Just going on gut instincts, I tend to subscribe to the less-is-more theory, so my impulse is to exclude. I guess I have the sense that our best bet is to pique someone's interest and then leave her or him wanting more.

    I can't say that's the right way to play it, but since it seems a split decision from the experts here, that's my inclination.

    Good luck all around,

  22. #22
    Tyrant King jeffo20's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Central New York
    Posts
    1,746
    You know, I could swear I saw an interview with Kristin Nelson somewhere where she gave a specific reason why you shouldn't include five pages when submitting to her (aside from the fact her website says "Query letter only", that is). When I read it, it made sense, but I can't find that interview. If I do, I'll post it here.

    I did submit five pages to one agent who said 'Send a query letter', but didn't say specifically NOT to send pages. I'm hoping I didn't shoot myself in the foot.
    Blogging at The Doubting Writer


    "An Unexpected Reunion" in Winter's Regret, from Elephant's Bookshelf Press.

  23. #23
    My New Cat Is Too Big for Shoulders Corinne Duyvis's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Posts
    884
    Quote Originally Posted by Maxie16 View Post
    The question here is, in the absence of a directive either to include or exclude the five pages, whether you include them. Just going on gut instincts, I tend to subscribe to the less-is-more theory, so my impulse is to exclude. I guess I have the sense that our best bet is to pique someone's interest and then leave her or him wanting more.

    I can't say that's the right way to play it, but since it seems a split decision from the experts here, that's my inclination.
    If you don't send the pages and your query letter isn't quite doing it for the agent, you lose the chance to draw them in using your pages.

    Plus, if your writing isn't up to par or not their style, they'll know straightaway. The more they know of your work, the more informed their decision is. Stops you getting your hopes up, stops them from wasting time.

    Besides, if the goal is to leave them wanting more, your first five pages should do that trick.
    Website
    Twitter
    Disability in Kidlit


    "Subtle, nuanced examinations of power dynamics and privilege." BCCB ★
    OTHERBOUND, recipient of four starred reviews, is now in stores!

    ON THE EDGE OF GONE coming March 2016

  24. #24
    Tell it like it Is Susan Littlefield's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    With my cats
    Posts
    8,084
    Read the agent guidelines and follow them to a tee. Some agents ask for a first chapter, some for the first five or ten pages, and other say query only. If they do not provide guidelines regarding query and any pages, I'd sent a query with the first five pages in the body of the email.
    Susan

    Please visit my website: http://www.susanlittlefield.blogspot.com/


  25. #25
    Tyrant King jeffo20's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Central New York
    Posts
    1,746
    Ah hah! Found it! It was a video interview with Kristin Nelson here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkGgaigDEa8

    Her comment about including samples comes in at about the 1:38 mark. But, what she said, in the event you don't want to watch, is this:

    "Oftentimes if you have the first page or so included, we'll make an instant decision and oftentimes it will be a no."

    So, at least if you're querying Kristin Nelson, don't include any sample pages.
    Blogging at The Doubting Writer


    "An Unexpected Reunion" in Winter's Regret, from Elephant's Bookshelf Press.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Custom Search