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zenjenn
12-26-2013, 11:28 AM
So a question for any agents or experienced authors out there.

I am sending out queries for a piece of middle grade fiction that includes some images. These aren't illustrations; they are necessary pieces of the narrative. This comes up in the first chapter, and many agents insist on including the first chapter in the body of the e-mail with no attachments.

Should I paste images in the body of the e-mail or is that counted as an "attachment"? Fearing that I will get spam filtered, I've been submitting like so:


Owen Maguire brushed a few dreadlocks away from his eyes and examined the mysterious scrap of paper he held in his left hand. On one side, it read:


[Author's note: Illustration of a torn scrap of paper with handwritten:
"Adventure Awaits"]

He turned the paper around, already knowing he would find the strange string of numbers written on the other side:


[Author's note: Illustration of a torn scrap of paper with handwritten:
"208.111.43.240-8888"]

This had happened before on four prior occasions... (blah, blah blah)

While these illustrations are not omnipresent in my novel overall, it so happens that my novel actually *opens* with this in the first chapter, and I worry that the bracketed author notes look amateurish. Is there a more professional format? Or should I just paste in the images? I mean, this must come up with chapter books and middle grade fiction, as a lot of them include narrative illustrations, but I worry this appears unprofessional and will cause kneejerk rejection.

Thedrellum
12-26-2013, 07:56 PM
Are those images integral to the novel? In Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children the pictures are important to the novel, although the novel works quite well without them as well--even if you never see the pictures, they're described well enough that you can imagine them.

From the above, assuming that's actual text from your novel, I'm not sure why you would need images.

However, that's sort of a secondary point. What I would say is to integrate the important portions of the images into the novel itself and submit it like that, as an unbroken narrative. When an agent takes an interest, then I would make sure to talk about how you imagine the novel as having illustrations (all the while making sure that your novel stands w/o illustrations if it has to).

That's what I would do, at least. Hopefully someone with more experience will chime in.

Kerosene
12-26-2013, 08:22 PM
Some agencies/publishers will delete emails with attachments to them without looking at them, and you don't know what email client the agency/publisher is using so they might not appear in the body of the email.

If I was you, I'd write out what is written on the note in the writing. When you get an agent/editor, tell them that those sections have illustrations you'd like to include.

thothguard51
12-26-2013, 08:36 PM
Describe in the email that pictures are used, discribe what each picture refers to, but do not include the pictures...

My security feature is set up so that each email is scanned before I open and it it detects attachments, even within the email, it warns me before I open, and, I will not open if its from someone I do not know, or am not expecting.

Nothing personal, its a security issue...

Old Hack
12-26-2013, 08:56 PM
I'd send it like this:


Owen Maguire brushed a few dreadlocks away from his eyes and examined the mysterious scrap of paper he held in his left hand. On one side, it read:


Adventure Awaits

He turned the paper around, already knowing he would find the strange string of numbers written on the other side:


208.111.43.240-8888

This had happened before on four prior occasions... (blah, blah blah)

I find the "Author's note" format intrusive and you really don't want to do anything which risks dragging your reader--in this case, an agent--out of the story you're telling.

zenjenn
12-26-2013, 09:17 PM
Thanks!

Debbie V
01-01-2014, 07:11 PM
Illustrations are often the choice of the book designer and editor. If the info in the illustration is just text as indicated above, I'd include it as text and discuss how to show this info within the finished book once you have interest in the book. The designer may decide to use just the image, or to leave the text and have a separate image of the scrap of paper. In other words, what Old Hack said.

The designer will consider how the page break lays out in the finished product, how many other illustrations may be included in the text, how the image impacts the overall tone of the story, how it impacts the expectations the reader will have for the rest of the book, etc.

Having this material as straight text and not as an image will not impact the overall story.