View Full Version : Formatting a partial: Page count

09-16-2014, 05:09 AM
I was super excited to get a partial request today from an awesome agent. They are asking for 30 pages and so I did the old 250 words to a printed page thing. Once I got it into a word processor in the format requested, it ended up being 40 pages.

So my question is, do I go with the 250 rule or do I go with the reality of the word processor?

I would really appreciate some help here.


Siri Kirpal
09-16-2014, 06:04 AM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

You send the actual 30 pages, but don't stop in the middle of a sentence; stop at the nearest convenient break. Don't send those 40 pages.


Siri Kirpal

Becca C.
09-16-2014, 08:42 AM
The old 250 rule is just that -- old. Go by word processor pages. Good luck!

09-16-2014, 10:07 AM
I've been using my actual word-processor pages when I send mine. I hope that's right.

09-16-2014, 01:56 PM
One-inch margins, double-spaced, 12 point font, use the word processor's count. And as Siri Kirpal said, cut off at the most convenient place nearest the 30 page count. Good luck!

09-16-2014, 04:03 PM
Thanks you guys! I love it when I get a response that is the exact opposite of what I was expecting. Here's to making me look a little less foolish!

Casey Karp
10-08-2014, 03:56 AM
Adding related questions, if I may (slap me with a fish if I should have started a new thread):

1) How much leeway do I have in rounding up? Obviously, if the agent says x pages or to the end of the chapter, I go to the end of the chapter, but if they just say x pages, how far can I stretch it before it snaps? For example, 10 pages would put me into Chapter 2, but going to the end of the chapter would take me to page 17. Seems like almost doubling the request would be excessive. Find a good scene break around page 15? 12? Somewhere on 11?

2) Copy/paste into the email looks lousy. How much cleanup should I do? Center the chapter and section heading? Replace # with a blank line? Replace # # # with a centered short line? Or do I just leave it all left-justified and hashy, figuring agents are used to reading around the lack of formatting?

10-08-2014, 12:08 PM
Don't overcomplicate things. Think simple. The interested agent is interested in your construction of words, not in your construction of formatting. Make it standardly readable, the same way you would a printed copy.

If pasted into an e-mail, the only real alteration you need to do is the same one you'd do in posting something in the Share Your Work forum here. Space between paragraphs (pasting into e-mail probably won't honor your paragraph indents). And yes, use a # for scene breaks. Don't worry about centering anything. You're sending it to a professional reader who understands these things. Just make sure that reader can also understand your story.


Old Hack
10-08-2014, 02:03 PM
I'd round it up to the next reasonable break-point. So if that falls on page 11 or 15, that's what I'd send.

If the book is great you won't get rejected for having sent five pages more than was asked for.

Casey Karp
10-08-2014, 08:54 PM
Thanks. Me, overthink things? Guilty as charged.