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Paula
06-12-2012, 03:37 PM
Hi!
I need a little help from our fellows in the UK.
I have been doing my research, to see the differences between UK and American submissions.
I now know covering letters (UK) are pretty different from query letters (US), but would like to know if the manuscript formatting is the same, particularly in terms of the first page.
In the US you write your name and contact info on the top left and on the top right the genre and word count. A little "further south" you write the title and your name. Should we present it like that in the UK as well?

Also, in terms of synopsis, in America some ask for a 1 page synopsis, some ask up to 5, it depends on the place. Right now, the agency I want to submit to, in the UK, asks for the synopsis but doesn't specify the number of pages. My current one is 3 pages long, 1500 words.

Can anyone from the UK or who has been published in the UK help me with this?

Thank you!

GFanthome
06-12-2012, 05:09 PM
Most publishers are specific about how they want submissions to look and this is usually outlined on their Submissions page. If you're not finding what you need there, do a Google UK search on formatting submissions to publishers. There are sites out there that will guide you.

You can always email the agent or publisher as well, for clarification.

Bufty
06-12-2012, 05:34 PM
Agents are in the same business no matter which side of the pond they are - -all they're looking for is a well written story they think they can sell.

Follow the stated requirements as usual, if any, otherwise whatever you do in the good old US of A won't get you automatically rejected or shoved to one side.

Paula
06-12-2012, 06:48 PM
Thank you. Though the information I find online about formatting is all mostly about the US. Even if I look in Google UK.

This particular agency I chose doesn't specify the number of pages/size for the synopsis. I sent them an e-mail to their general inquiries address to ask if a 3 page synopsis would be acceptable (I specified which agent I wanted to query). They didn't answer me yet.

Bufty
06-12-2012, 06:54 PM
Good luck -Agents here are just as busy as over there.


Thank you. Though the information I find online about formatting is all mostly about the US. Even if I look in Google UK.

This particular agency I chose doesn't specify the number of pages/size for the synopsis. I sent them an e-mail to their general inquiries address to ask if a 3 page synopsis would be acceptable (I specified which agent I wanted to query). They didn't answer me yet.

Paula
06-12-2012, 06:56 PM
:) I can imagine. I just figured the person who handles the general e-mail would be a little less busy than the agent himself.

Buffysquirrel
06-12-2012, 07:49 PM
If they don't specify a length for the synopsis, then either they expect us to know (in which case we can all bang our heads against the wall yelling HOW how are we to know) or they're not that bothered. So long as it isn't fifteen pages, single-spaced, 8 point....

You might want to pick up this book: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1025705.From_Pitch_to_Publication

MetalDog
06-12-2012, 10:30 PM
Check out the Writers & Artists yearbook 2012 - lots of formatting, synopsis, letter etc advice in there as well as UK agent listings. Your local library should have it if you're skint.

Paula
06-13-2012, 01:48 AM
I honestly don't know if that book will exist here in Portugal. I'll look for it, though.

areteus
06-13-2012, 01:01 PM
I second comments about checking guidelines. Most of the differences are not country to country but rather agency/publisher to agency/publisher. If they do not specify manuscript format then it is always best to use a common one which you are comfortable with. There are many guides out there as to how to format a manuscript - pick one and use it for your submissions where no guidelines are listed and edit it to suit whatever guidelines might say.

Manuscript formats are usually in place to make the job of reading and commenting on submissions easy for the editor. Usually they ask for a specific font so they can do a quick word count (i.e. courier new at 12 point double spaced averages at about 250 words per page and is close to what a published book would look like) and make it easier to read (some fonts make your eyes bleed...), double spacing is usually so they can annotate in between lines (though this is less common these days as many edit in soft format rather than print and scribble) and file format (usually rtf) is so they can actually read your submission - not everyone has Microsoft word and rtf is easier to import to other word processors than .doc or, especially, docx). Margin sizes are often linked to needing to staple or otherwise bind submissions together once printed - if their standard binding method leads to half the text being hidden under the binding then it makes is hard to read.

It is all about making the editor's life easier so they are more inclined to be nice to you...

waylander
06-13-2012, 01:10 PM
1500 words is fine for a synopsis to go to a UK agent. A lot of the guidebooks, including 'From Pitch to Publication' say 3-5 pages.

Paula
06-13-2012, 11:09 PM
Thank you :)

alexaherself
06-14-2012, 03:19 AM
You might want to pick up this book: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1025705.From_Pitch_to_Publication

This.

A second vote, here, for this book - by far and away the most helpful, useful and interesting book on this subject which I've ever read (and I've read many).

Find a way to make it available in Portugal, if you possibly can. Maybe there'll be a Lisbon bookshop which can order it for you, or a London bookshop willing to send it to Portugal?

Katana
06-14-2012, 03:56 AM
AbeBooks.co.uk has listings for several sellers who will ship internationally from the UK, with the book starting at 0.64, and from 4.22 postage to Portugal.

http://www.abebooks.co.uk/book-search/isbn/0333714350/

northtosouth
06-17-2012, 03:00 PM
Hi Paula!

I started querying my first novel last week and have had about 10 requests for the full manuscript, and one offer of representation :) bear in mind that my novel is YA, so if you're writing adult or non-fiction it might be different. The format I used was:

Synopsis - 1 page (unless specified otherwise). They like a concise overview of the novel. I left out the storyline of my secondary POVs to save on space but just wrote at the bottom about the multiple viewpoint structure. None of the agents asked for anything more detail when they responded, they just wanted the full mnauscript.

Cover page - TITLE OF NOVEL by Name of author just below the middle (centred) and then in the bottom left, my word count and contact details. I wouldn't worry too much about the formatting of this though, they just want a page with your details on it so they can keep track of things easily.

Good luck! x