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View Full Version : Agents: How do you read a manuscript?



AustinT
02-26-2014, 05:02 PM
I expect the answers for this question will vary quite a bit from agent to agent, but I'm curious what method is typically used nowadays to read a full or partial manuscript? Do you load it onto a Kindle or tablet, print it out, or read it straight from the computer screen?

If anyone can share their own practices/preferences, that'd be amazing.

On a related note (which led me to ask this question): My own manuscript deals with a lot of code, where the spacing between characters and line of texts are essential for it making any sense at all. However, a Kindle will smash down these carefully-placed lines to fit their screen, making them completely incomprehensible. I'm worried this will be a problem when querying begins. Maybe I should warn them up front, if any request a full or partial ms?

Thanks in advance for any input!

Old Hack
03-01-2014, 01:22 PM
Austin, you've started a separate thread to ask about the formatting issues (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=8735620), so I won't address those here (and I suggest that no one else does, either). It's easier if we keep to one thread per subject.

I'll respond to this bit of your question, though:


I expect the answers for this question will vary quite a bit from agent to agent, but I'm curious what method is typically used nowadays to read a full or partial manuscript? Do you load it onto a Kindle or tablet, print it out, or read it straight from the computer screen?

The agents I know all read submissions on electronic devices. Kindles, iPads, or their computers. If they've already had some interaction with the author, and are putting together a request that they revise and resubmit they might continue to read onscreen, but a few do print it out at this point. But in general, they do read onscreen, and they do use a wide variety of different devices to do so. It's all down to a combination of personal preference, and the practicalities of printing out long manuscripts: it's costly, time-consuming, and wasteful, especially when most submissions aren't going to result in an offer of representation.

Jennifer_Laughran
03-01-2014, 09:01 PM
Personally, I generally read on my ipad via the iAnnotate app. But sometimes on my phone or on the computer. I certainly never print anything out, feh.

Donna Pudick
03-04-2014, 12:07 AM
Since we are almost 100% green, it's computer screen only, usually the first 50 pages, then we ask for more if we are intrigued by the story.