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Thread: Sample pages in a query

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    Sample pages in a query

    Hey everyone,

    Newb question: when the agent requests the first ten pages with the query letter, what format do you put those pages in? If they're pasted in the body of the e-mail do you put them in traditional submission format with indenting etc. or use block paragraphs? I've done some sample emails with text pasted in and it comes out looking pretty strange in the indented format.

    If this question has been asked a million times I apologize. Thanks in advance for any help.

  2. #2
    Hmm...do they specify about attachments? It seems like that would be the way to go, to me...

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW amschilling's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    In my head.
    Most agency websites will say if they want it in the body of the email or as an attachment. General rule is: if they don't say they accept attachments, don't send one. Many won't open one unless they requested it.

    As for format, I usually do the indent. But the mail client I use handles it well. Some don't, in which case block paragraphs should be fine.

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  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW JanDarby's Avatar
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    If it's pasted, I fix the formatting, so it reads like an email -- single spaced, no indent, extra line between paragraphs.

  5. #5
    The colors! THE COLORS! leahzero's Avatar
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    May 2009
    I paste sample pages directly from the .doc to gmail and don't change the formatting at all. No new lines between paragraphs; every new paragraph is indented; etc. It always turns out fine. (When an agent replies and quotes the text, you'll see if your formatting got garbled or not. Never had an issue.)

    However, I use manual tabs, not automatic tabbing.
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  6. #6
    My New Cat Is Too Big for Shoulders Corinne Duyvis's Avatar
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    May 2010
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Ditto JanDarby. You never know what an agent uses to read queries and how that program or device handles formatting. I prefer to be on the safe side and use email formatting without any tricks.
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  7. #7
    resident curmudgeon
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Don't judge how the agent will see the e-mail by looking at it in your own inbox. If you send rtf e-mails, as you should, the formatting will hold, simply because every good agent and editor I know uses a top quality e-mail client, most often MS Outlook.

    I frequently have to send formatted short stories by e-mail, and formatting has never been a problem, whether I send using Outlook or Gmail. The editors receive it just fine, and the formatting holds.

    The same is true when I receive short stories. articles, etc. in my own inbox. As long as the sender knows to use rtf, everything lands in my Outlook inbox perfectly formatted.


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