Happy Hanukkah!

Happy Hanukkah!

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

editing for authors ad

A publisher or agency using Google ads to solicit your novel probably isn't anyone you want to write for.


Go Back   Absolute Write Water Cooler > Publishing > Ask the Agent
Register FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-26-2012, 11:54 PM   #1
Taylor
practical experience, FTW
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 260
Taylor is well-respected
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!
__________________
twitter blog website
Taylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2012, 12:01 AM   #2
Nymtoc
Benefactor Member
 
Nymtoc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Between the lines
Posts: 32,892
Nymtoc is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsNymtoc is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsNymtoc is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsNymtoc is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsNymtoc is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsNymtoc is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsNymtoc is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsNymtoc is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsNymtoc is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsNymtoc is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsNymtoc is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
The Do’s and Don’ts 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
Nymtoc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2012, 12:16 AM   #3
Al Stevens
practical experience, FTW
 
Al Stevens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,505
Al Stevens leaves trails of profuse coolnessAl Stevens leaves trails of profuse coolnessAl Stevens leaves trails of profuse coolnessAl Stevens leaves trails of profuse coolnessAl Stevens leaves trails of profuse coolness
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.)
Al Stevens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2012, 12:21 AM   #4
Corinne Duyvis
My New Cat Is Too Big for Shoulders
 
Corinne Duyvis's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Posts: 869
Corinne Duyvis is a glorious beacon of lightCorinne Duyvis is a glorious beacon of light
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


"Original and compelling; a stunning debut." —Kirkus ★
"Duyvis makes ingenious use of a fascinating premise." —PW ★
"[Its] true strength ... is in its positive portrayal of LGBT issues." —SLJ ★
"[S]ubtle, nuanced examinations of power dynamics and privilege." —BCCB ★

OTHERBOUND—now out!
Corinne Duyvis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2012, 12:27 AM   #5
Taylor
practical experience, FTW
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 260
Taylor is well-respected
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!
__________________
twitter blog website
Taylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2012, 12:31 AM   #6
Saanen
Inappropriate Charmer
 
Saanen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 1,093
Saanen is a glorious beacon of lightSaanen is a glorious beacon of light
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!
Saanen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2012, 12:35 AM   #7
Taylor
practical experience, FTW
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 260
Taylor is well-respected
^^^
Cool. Hopefully that is acceptable. It probably is, but I just want to be certain.

Anyone else have any input?
__________________
twitter blog website
Taylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2012, 12:54 AM   #8
Erin
Listening to my other selves
 
Erin's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: California
Posts: 1,609
Erin should run for PresidentErin should run for PresidentErin should run for PresidentErin should run for PresidentErin should run for PresidentErin should run for President
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



Erin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2012, 12:54 AM   #9
Jamiekswriter
The 1st Rule of Write Club: Write!
 
Jamiekswriter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,221
Jamiekswriter has earned our admirationJamiekswriter has earned our admirationJamiekswriter has earned our admirationJamiekswriter has earned our admiration
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
Jamiekswriter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2012, 01:53 AM   #10
rac
figuring it all out
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 93
rac is on a distinguished road
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.
rac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2012, 02:27 AM   #11
waylander
Who's going for a beer?
 
waylander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: London, UK
Posts: 6,057
waylander is a candidate for sainthoodwaylander is a candidate for sainthoodwaylander is a candidate for sainthoodwaylander is a candidate for sainthoodwaylander is a candidate for sainthoodwaylander is a candidate for sainthoodwaylander is a candidate for sainthoodwaylander is a candidate for sainthood
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.
waylander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2012, 08:23 AM   #12
Taylor
practical experience, FTW
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 260
Taylor is well-respected
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!
__________________
twitter blog website
Taylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2012, 08:24 AM   #13
CheekyWench
O.o
 
CheekyWench's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,445
CheekyWench is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCheekyWench is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCheekyWench is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCheekyWench is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCheekyWench is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCheekyWench is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCheekyWench is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCheekyWench is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCheekyWench is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCheekyWench is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCheekyWench is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
I would agree with the agent. No pages, just query. If they want pages, they'll ask. (or specify on the page.)
__________________
Homepage
Twitter



Quote:
Originally Posted by Clovia
The residue on the mirror is Soylent Green. It's people! Velociraptor blow is peeeeeoppplllle!
CheekyWench is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2012, 08:37 AM   #14
blacbird
That hairy-handed gent
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Who ran amok in Kent
Posts: 29,771
blacbird is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsblacbird is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsblacbird is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsblacbird is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsblacbird is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsblacbird is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsblacbird is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsblacbird is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsblacbird is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsblacbird is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsblacbird is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
And our own illustrious JamesARitchie will tell you to send some sample pages with your query regardless of what the agent says.

caw
blacbird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2012, 08:42 AM   #15
Chumplet
This hat is getting too hot
 
Chumplet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Ontario, Canader
Posts: 2,936
Chumplet is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsChumplet is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsChumplet is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsChumplet is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsChumplet is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsChumplet is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsChumplet is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsChumplet is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsChumplet is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsChumplet is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsChumplet is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
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.
__________________

My Blog
My Website
I'm a Twit, too


Chumplet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2012, 08:55 AM   #16
Cyia
Rewriting My Destiny
 
Cyia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Brillig in the slithy toves...
Posts: 14,202
Cyia is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCyia is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCyia is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCyia is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCyia is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCyia is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCyia is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCyia is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCyia is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCyia is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCyia is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
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.
__________________
_


Cyia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2012, 09:23 AM   #17
kaitie
Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya.
 
kaitie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Or the Master. Whatever.
Posts: 10,545
kaitie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentskaitie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentskaitie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentskaitie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentskaitie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentskaitie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentskaitie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentskaitie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentskaitie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentskaitie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentskaitie is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
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


kaitie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2012, 10:03 AM   #18
JSSchley
Have Harp Will Travel
 
JSSchley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: in ur B&N...facin out AWers bookz...
Posts: 929
JSSchley is a glorious beacon of lightJSSchley is a glorious beacon of light
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.
__________________
@jsschley on twitter
Goodreads
JSSchley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2012, 12:48 PM   #19
Terie
Writer is as Writer does
 
Terie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 4,167
Terie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsTerie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsTerie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsTerie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsTerie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsTerie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsTerie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsTerie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsTerie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsTerie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsTerie is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
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 doesn’t equal winning at life.

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

Author website | Author blog
Terie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2012, 02:24 PM   #20
Old Hack
crazy mean
SuperModerator
 
Old Hack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: In chaos
Posts: 17,192
Old Hack is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsOld Hack is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsOld Hack is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsOld Hack is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsOld Hack is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsOld Hack is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsOld Hack is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsOld Hack is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsOld Hack is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsOld Hack is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsOld Hack is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
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.
Old Hack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2012, 07:15 PM   #21
Maxie16
New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 28
Maxie16 is on a distinguished road
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,
Maxie16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2012, 09:21 PM   #22
jeffo20
Tyrant King
 
jeffo20's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Central New York
Posts: 1,732
jeffo20 is a splendid one to beholdjeffo20 is a splendid one to beholdjeffo20 is a splendid one to behold
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.
jeffo20 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2012, 10:56 PM   #23
Corinne Duyvis
My New Cat Is Too Big for Shoulders
 
Corinne Duyvis's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Posts: 869
Corinne Duyvis is a glorious beacon of lightCorinne Duyvis is a glorious beacon of light
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


"Original and compelling; a stunning debut." —Kirkus ★
"Duyvis makes ingenious use of a fascinating premise." —PW ★
"[Its] true strength ... is in its positive portrayal of LGBT issues." —SLJ ★
"[S]ubtle, nuanced examinations of power dynamics and privilege." —BCCB ★

OTHERBOUND—now out!
Corinne Duyvis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2012, 01:09 AM   #24
Susan Littlefield
Tell it like it Is
 
Susan Littlefield's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: With my cats
Posts: 8,023
Susan Littlefield is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSusan Littlefield is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSusan Littlefield is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSusan Littlefield is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSusan Littlefield is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSusan Littlefield is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSusan Littlefield is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSusan Littlefield is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSusan Littlefield is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSusan Littlefield is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSusan Littlefield is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
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/

Susan Littlefield is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2012, 05:37 AM   #25
jeffo20
Tyrant King
 
jeffo20's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Central New York
Posts: 1,732
jeffo20 is a splendid one to beholdjeffo20 is a splendid one to beholdjeffo20 is a splendid one to behold
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.
jeffo20 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Custom Search

If this site is helpful to you,
Please consider a voluntary subscription to defray ongoing expenses.

Buy Scrivener 2 for Mac OS X (Regular Licence)


All times are GMT +4.5. The time now is 02:13 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.