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michelle25
06-28-2008, 01:38 PM
I haven't been asked to submit a full manuscript yet, but I'm guessing that people who have submitted them mail them in a box? In that case, it'd be impossible to send a self-addressed stamped box (SASB?) to get the thing back, right? So if you don't expect to get it back, then how does the agent dispense editorial advice? I've read about people getting suggestions after submitting their work. Do agents email something like 'on pg. 72 there's this, on pg. 106...'? Or maybe line edits are only for clients? That's another question I have. How do clients work with agents and /or editors once their book has been sold? Do agents /editors give authors a hard copy with changes to make? Or even before it sells, there must still be hard copies with edits somehow going between author and agent?

Momento Mori
06-28-2008, 03:58 PM
michelle25:
So if you don't expect to get it back, then how does the agent dispense editorial advice?

Don't count on them giving you editorial advice. They'll either:

1. offer representation on the full unequivocally (which is wonderful, but still expect to require some comments on tweaking), or

2. say they have concerns about x, y and z and ask if you'd be willing to rewrite to fix them so they'll take another look (in which case, seriously consider making the changes but don't expect the manuscript to be accepted on resubmission), or

3. reject it.

I know that some agents who reject will give personalised feedback as to why this is, but there are equally agents who won't. It's frustrating, but it just means you have to continue your search.

I haven't heard of many agents who do line edits for clients (although that's not to say there aren't some). Most agents seem to focus on the big stuff and will put it on a separate sheet with page references.

One of the many published authors on the boards will have to tell you how it works with editors once the book has been sold. From what I've read, it seems that many of them take the same approach as agents (albeit more detailed in some cases). Many of the author blogs I've read have spoken of the horrors of reading final proofs, which seems to be the last chance to fix tiny errors in the text, but which isn't for fixing the big stuff.

MM

eqb
06-28-2008, 04:11 PM
One of the many published authors on the boards will have to tell you how it works with editors once the book has been sold. From what I've read, it seems that many of them take the same approach as agents (albeit more detailed in some cases). Many of the author blogs I've read have spoken of the horrors of reading final proofs, which seems to be the last chance to fix tiny errors in the text, but which isn't for fixing the big stuff. MM

I'm in the middle of the editing process for my first novel. Once the offer was made and accepted, my editor sent me a list of revision notes. These weren't line edits, but issues or questions I needed to address, from worldbuilding to tweaking particular scenes. The original submission was hardcopy; the revision letter and revised manuscript both traveled by email.

waylander
06-28-2008, 04:42 PM
I haven't been asked to submit a full manuscript yet, but I'm guessing that people who have submitted them mail them in a box? In that case, it'd be impossible to send a self-addressed stamped box (SASB?) to get the thing back, right? So if you don't expect to get it back, then how does the agent dispense editorial advice? I've read about people getting suggestions after submitting their work. Do agents email something like 'on pg. 72 there's this, on pg. 106...'? Or maybe line edits are only for clients? That's another question I have. How do clients work with agents and /or editors once their book has been sold? Do agents /editors give authors a hard copy with changes to make? Or even before it sells, there must still be hard copies with edits somehow going between author and agent?


Most agents reply to fulls by e-mail, sometimes you get detail sometimes it is a two line dismissal - "I didn't like your central character".
The editorial advice (if any) comes as more general points - "I did not believe your central character's motivation when they chose to do x", "the pace drops off at xx happens and I lost interest" than the precision of "on pg 37 y his wrong".

ChaosTitan
06-28-2008, 07:28 PM
I haven't been asked to submit a full manuscript yet, but I'm guessing that people who have submitted them mail them in a box? In that case, it'd be impossible to send a self-addressed stamped box (SASB?) to get the thing back, right?

You can by manuscript boxes at Staples. I bind the pages with one large rubber band, but never use staples or paper clips. As for return postage, I always add on the cover letter that the pages are recyclable (I have a laser printer, so running off a copy for me basically costs the price of a pack of paper).


So if you don't expect to get it back, then how does the agent dispense editorial advice? I've read about people getting suggestions after submitting their work. Do agents email something like 'on pg. 72 there's this, on pg. 106...'?

Agents rarely offer editorial services unless they are willing to sign you (or think they can guide you to a point in which they'll offer representation). They just don't have the time, and it's not their job. Even if you're a client, not all agents will do line edits with you. It just depends.

Personal experience: I sent an agent a full manuscript, as requested. It had an SASE for reply, but I didn't expect the actual pages back. She emailed me back a few months later, saying she wasn't offering, but there were changes she'd like to see in the manuscript. She wrote two or three paragraphs of thoughts, and said if I agreed with those changes, she'd be interested in reading another draft.


Or maybe line edits are only for clients? That's another question I have. How do clients work with agents and /or editors once their book has been sold? Do agents /editors give authors a hard copy with changes to make? Or even before it sells, there must still be hard copies with edits somehow going between author and agent?

Many agents will do this work via email and .doc attachments. My agent received the hard copy, but everything else we've done since has been via digital copy. From what I've read, too, many editors will use attachments. It's faster, more convenient, and cheaper.

Again, personal experience: So far, I've done two rounds of edits with my agent (not the one mentioned above, different agent and different book). The first one came in the form of an email. He had several paragraphs of specific plot elements, characters, and backstory that either needed changing, adding, altering, tailoring, etc.... That edit was up to me. I sent it. A week later (yeah, he's fast!), I got it back with line edits and comments set in .doc track changes (I love this feature!). Again, I went through and implemented the changes, and again, it went back as an attachment.

scope
06-28-2008, 10:27 PM
First things first.

If you don't want your manuscript to be returned, which seems logical in your case, say in your cover letter AND query letter that it's recyclable. Also, that you have included an SASE -- something like: "Thank you for taking the time to consider my work. I have enclosed an SASE and look forward to hearing from you soon."

And since your query will contain you address and email address the agent will have no problem contacting you about editorial changes or suggestions. This is nothing new to them. Don't be concerned.

Crinklish
06-28-2008, 10:43 PM
Don't bother with the box...just use those nylon-y Priority Mail envelopes or something similar. That way you can fold up a second one and include it in the package. Your ms. will be fine and it doesn't take up as much space in the "to be opened" pile.

illiterwrite
06-28-2008, 10:57 PM
My agent asked for my full via email. She's never done a line edit, but after I send her a draft, we usually have a telephone conversation about what she likes/dislikes.

With my first book, I had a lunch with my editor. She'd typed up a couple of pages of notes. Later, during the line edit, she sent me my manuscript with stickies. With my current book (and a different editor), I've had a telephone conversation and now a 1-page email. I'm not sure if that's her version of line edit or what.

The copy editor for my first book did everything electronically (manuscript with notes/changes). I can't remember what happened with the proofreader, but I think it was hard copy.

Emily Winslow
06-29-2008, 12:17 AM
I agree that a box isn't necessary, just a reliable envelope--like a bubble padded envelope, or "nylony" as Crinklish suggested. A regular paper envelope probably isn't up to a full.


Don't bother with the box...just use those nylon-y Priority Mail envelopes or something similar. That way you can fold up a second one and include it in the package. Your ms. will be fine and it doesn't take up as much space in the "to be opened" pile.

Karen Duvall
06-29-2008, 09:02 PM
When I was querying agents, I used a flat rate priority mail box provided by the post office to send requested fulls. Since the box is rather large, but about $4 cheaper than regular priority mail for a manuscript, I put the manuscript in a tyvek envelope first so the pages wouldn't get banged up. Then for return postage, if the agent wanted it, I included enough stamps for the manuscript to be returned via media mail. I snail-mailed 4 manuscripts, and emailed 3, but only had one of the snail-mailed ones returned. One of the agents who received a hardcopy offered representation and I accepted.