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Wrenware
12-17-2014, 03:22 AM
Hi there!

It's pretty self-evident that every good submission package should aim to make the agent's day as easy as possible. Things like standard manuscript format are essential for that.

With that in mind, there are two niggling areas I haven't been able to find any clear guidance for online, and I thought we might be able to fix that here:


When sending a submission package electronically (if the agent does not specify) is it standard to present the synopsis and sample chapters as two separate documents, or to combine them into one document? If the latter, which should go first?



Are there any conventions on how the sample chapter and synopsis documents should be named (e.g. Author Name Book Name (Sample Chapters) )


I'm writing from the UK, so that's the market I'm thinking of, but I'm sure they'll be people from the US online wondering the same thing as well. So, any advice?

Thanks for reading, folks!

mayqueen
12-17-2014, 04:04 AM
Whenever I've submitted to the UK, I tend to structure it synopsis and chapters, in that order, as one document, and I always name it LastName BookTitleShorthand Synopsis 3 Ch (or whatever). Just make sure your attachment has your name and book title in the file name! Lots of agents upload to Kindles or whatever.

Mr Flibble
12-17-2014, 04:11 AM
Unless they specifically say to attach as docs, I pasted into the email (many people do not click on attachments due to viruses) I would usually out the chaps first -- heard too many agents say they look at the writing first and ,if they do read it, read the synopsis later. It may not matter either way tbh, as long as both are clearly signposted.

As for naming on a requested doc (which I do send attached), I do a header, Novel Name, Author Name

Wrenware
12-17-2014, 08:06 PM
@Mayqueen - Nice Remedios Varo painting! The kindle thing is certainly useful to bear in mind.

@Mr. Flibble - I've found that a lot of agents in the UK specifically request attachments (doc or rtf, generally). The "agents like to look at the chapters first" thing is something I've seen in a couple of places online, though only as second or third hand advice.

Whimsigirl
12-17-2014, 08:08 PM
If it's just sample chapters + synopsis with your query, and not a request, I usually just paste it in the body of my email. Agents (at least in the US) tend to be nervous about attachments.

LaneHeymont
12-17-2014, 08:43 PM
If it's just sample chapters + synopsis with your query, and not a request, I usually just paste it in the body of my email. Agents (at least in the US) tend to be nervous about attachments.

+1

Unless specified by the agent's guidelines, it is best to past all documents into the body of your email. Of course, you should follow each agent's/agency's submission guidelines.

Wrenware
12-17-2014, 09:59 PM
If it's just sample chapters + synopsis with your query, and not a request, I usually just paste it in the body of my email. Agents (at least in the US) tend to be nervous about attachments.

@LaneHeymont, @ElizaL - Oh yes, that's certainly my default approach, but I've come across quite a number of (UK) agents explicitly requesting attachments. Some specify whether they'd like one document or two, but most do not, so I was just wondering what the accepted default is.

Corinne Duyvis
12-18-2014, 05:21 PM
If they don't specify, I'd go with two documents. If they do specify they want only one, definitely go with chapters first.