PDA

View Full Version : Advice about vague/contradictory submission guidelines



InkStainedWench
09-03-2014, 05:13 PM
I'd like to query an agent whose profile on Agent Query says he wants "query only." His agency's guidelines say:

"...please make sure your cover letter is in the body of the email. Synopses, outlines or sample chapters (say, one chapter or the first 25 pages of your manuscript) should ... be included below the cover letter..."

Normally, I'd give the agency greater weight, but this seems terribly vague. What's "outline" doing in there?

Don't know whether to zig or zag on this one. Thank you all for any advice!

Aggy B.
09-03-2014, 05:33 PM
Synopses and outlines are closely related so I can see mentioning both because some folks might be calling their synopsis an outline.

Has anyone else on Querytracker addressed this in the comments? Otherwise I would just send the query OR see if there's a general email for the agency where you might ask for clarification.

Sage
09-03-2014, 05:34 PM
Does the agency cover non-fiction as well? They could be covering both bases, since NF is sold unwritten.

Since it has the "or" in there, I would really just stick to synopsis and sample pages

InkStainedWench
09-03-2014, 06:14 PM
Good point, Aggy. And yes, Querytracker has comments, but they're "EQ (+date)"; no specifics about what was sent.

Thedrellum
09-03-2014, 06:15 PM
I agree with Sage. The "or" really leaves it up to you what to include, I think, as long as the query letter is there.

Jamesaritchie
09-03-2014, 07:17 PM
I'd like to query an agent whose profile on Agent Query says he wants "query only." His agency's guidelines say:

"...please make sure your cover letter is in the body of the email. Synopses, outlines or sample chapters (say, one chapter or the first 25 pages of your manuscript) should ... be included below the cover letter..."

Normally, I'd give the agency greater weight, but this seems terribly vague. What's "outline" doing in there?

Don't know whether to zig or zag on this one. Thank you all for any advice!


I see nothing vague about it. Outlines are often needed for fiction, and many agents and editors want one. This is simply telling you how to package it all, when and if needed. I wish all agents and editors were this specific.

InkStainedWench
09-03-2014, 07:26 PM
Well, the jury seems to be leaning toward query/synopsis/sample chapter.

So should I ignore the "query only" instruction in Agent Query?

kkbe
09-03-2014, 07:32 PM
Sorry about those deletions of mine. Good grief. I was gonna say,
You might try to find online interviews with the agent, sometimes they state their preferences. Beyond that, I'd probably send sample pages and synopsis in the body of the email, preceded by something like, "Per agency guidelines. . ."

Siri Kirpal
09-03-2014, 10:07 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Outlines are more often a non-fic thing. I'd include a synopsis and sample chapter.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

cornflake
09-03-2014, 10:28 PM
I'd like to query an agent whose profile on Agent Query says he wants "query only." His agency's guidelines say:

"...please make sure your cover letter is in the body of the email. Synopses, outlines or sample chapters (say, one chapter or the first 25 pages of your manuscript) should ... be included below the cover letter..."

Normally, I'd give the agency greater weight, but this seems terribly vague. What's "outline" doing in there?

Don't know whether to zig or zag on this one. Thank you all for any advice!

I don't think that's vague at all.

The agent wants query only.

The agency says to include stuff in the body of the email, whatever you're sending, presumably per agent guideline/type of submission.

I'd include a query only.

Corinne Duyvis
09-04-2014, 02:38 PM
I'd go with the website guidelines. They're generally more up-to-date than places like AgentQuery.