PDA

View Full Version : Attach First Three Chapters with Query?



Cactus Land
02-03-2013, 01:50 AM
Hi,

I am about to start quering, in fact, I have one specific editor I want to start with, seems to me it makes more sense to attach the first three chapters with the query, but not sure, wanted to get some feed back. Also, would it be better to send the chapters as a PDF or Word doc?

Thanks for your advice

Cactus Land

suki
02-03-2013, 01:55 AM
Hi,

I am about to start quering, in fact, I have one specific editor I want to start with, seems to me it makes more sense to attach the first three chapters with the query, but not sure, wanted to get some feed back. Also, would it be better to send the chapters as a PDF or Word doc?

Thanks for your advice

Cactus Land

Hi, and welcome to AW! :)

Your question confuses me a little. You shouldn't have to guess at what to send.

You should follow an agent's or editor's submission guidelines and send exactly what they tell you to send, in whatever format they tell you to send it.

So, if you are going to submit to editors, rather than agents, you follow the publisher's submission guidelines, usually listed on their website.

~suki

BethS
02-03-2013, 03:31 AM
Hi,

I am about to start quering, in fact, I have one specific editor I want to start with


Why an editor instead of an agent?

And what Suki said about consulting submission guidelines before querying.

Cactus Land
02-03-2013, 10:07 AM
The reason I ask is I have found an editor who I think is an excellent fit for the book, and I've written a specific query just for this editor (and publisher), however, this editor is not the the person listed on the website. I suppose my real question is a marketing one, is it better to send a query alone, or to have the first couple of chapters attached to the the query.

My feeling is it is better to attach, but maybe for some reason this is annoying for an acquisition editor.

I asked about if it was better to get an agent before querying this publisher, and I was told from someone inside to query directly.

Susan Littlefield
02-03-2013, 10:48 AM
Cactus,

I'm a bit confused. Why are you sending a query to a specific editor if said editor is not listed at the publisher's website? Are you sure this editor still works there and/or accepts queries?

Secondly, do the publisher's guidelines say they want the first three chapters? If so, they should have specifications whether to include them in the body of the email or as an attachment. That should answer your "marketing" question.

Any agents I've come across want sample chapters either in the body of the email or send at doc attachments, but I've never submitted directly to publishers.

If this agency does not ask for sample chapters or a synopsis, then I'd just send a query letter. You must read their guidelines and follow them to a tee. Do the guidelines specify who your query should be sent to? If so, you must send it to that person.

Susan Littlefield
02-03-2013, 10:53 AM
I asked about if it was better to get an agent before querying this publisher, and I was told from someone inside to query directly.

The usual order is to query agents first, publishers second. If you have unsuccessfully queried publishers but then land an agent, your agent may have no publishers to query if you have already queried them all. :)

DennisB
02-03-2013, 07:00 PM
Let's see. You send a dynamite query. It's well written, fits the target, hooks the agent/editor, provides a one-graph summary and a two-sentence bio... but then the agent/editor comes to the line that scuttles the whole thing: "I've pasted the first three chapters below."

An agent isn't going to turn down a good chance at a $10-25,000 payday because of one tiny etiquette or format problem. What could scuttle the deal is a bunch of red flags caused by serious breach of guideline protocol, or anything that would cause them to think you can't write.

From Nathan Bransford's blog:
"...clearly there is a feeling among agents at the moment that we have sufficiently terrified authors that it is now necessary to reassure them that we are not going to send them packing at the first sign of a typo or query faux pas."

Jamesaritchie
02-03-2013, 09:31 PM
First three t five pages, yes. First three chapters, no. Miss Snark always said sending the first five pages is an unwritten rule, but I've found three works just as well. I haven't met an agent or editor who objects to this, and wouldn't want to work with one who did.

Debbie V
02-05-2013, 06:40 PM
Hi Cactus,

In general, don't send them anything they aren't asking for. If they love the query, they'll ask for either the first few chapters or the complete manuscript.

That said, it is generally better to seek an agent first. However, if you have an inside track with this editor, go ahead. An agent won't likely turn you down because you've crossed one editor off their list of possibilities. A dozen editors, on the other hand...