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Bmann
02-19-2016, 11:31 PM
When agent ask for the first 40-50 pages and then says "wherever a natural break falls in there", how exactly would I approach this? My fourth chapter begins on pg 39 and ends on 53, so should I just send the first three chapters? Also when the agent says send them via email but doesn't clarify if as an attachment or in the body, which route should I go?

Sorry if these are basic questions folks I wasn't able to find a clear answer in my search and I confuse very easily;)

Kerosene
02-19-2016, 11:35 PM
About, roughly, approximately, ect., ect..

I would send whatever you feel best ending them at. If your fourth chapter doesn't end on a great note, but your third does--get it?

Bmann
02-20-2016, 12:08 AM
About, roughly, approximately, ect., ect..

I would send whatever you feel best ending them at. If your fourth chapter doesn't end on a great note, but your third does--get it?

Okay thank you. What about sending them as an attachment or in the body of the email?

Laer Carroll
02-20-2016, 12:20 AM
I doubt it hurts to send more than is asked as long as it isn't a lot more. Submission guides are intended to ensure they get the minimum of what they want and are usually approximate.

If the agent doesn't specify whether to send samples inline or attached, you're probably safe to do what you want. Probably - but check the whole agency guidelines. That may say attachments will automatically cause the query to be deleted and the agent has simply forgotten to mention that.

In the 200+ sci-fi/fantasy agent submission guidelines I read a year ago not one failed to say which way to send samples. One said send an attachment, and said it should be in a .rtf format. All others said send the samples inline.

Bmann
02-20-2016, 12:24 AM
I doubt it hurts to send more than is asked as long as it isn't a lot more. Submission guides are intended to ensure they get the minimum of what they want and are usually approximate.

If the agent doesn't specify whether to send samples inline or attached, you're probably safe to do what you want. Probably - but check the whole agency guidelines. That may say attachments will automatically cause the query to be deleted and the agent has simply forgotten to mention that.

In the 200+ sci-fi/fantasy agent submission guidelines I read a year ago not one failed to say which way to send samples. One said send an attachment, and said it should be in a .rtf format. All others said send the samples inline.

Okay, thank you :) .

blacbird
02-20-2016, 01:33 AM
Bear in mind that the agent almost certainly means ~40-50 pages in standard manuscript format, double-spaced in Courier or TNR 12-pt. font with 1 inch margins. In word count, that would equate to about 10,000 words or so.

caw

Bmann
02-20-2016, 07:41 PM
Bear in mind that the agent almost certainly means ~40-50 pages in standard manuscript format, double-spaced in Courier or TNR 12-pt. font with 1 inch margins. In word count, that would equate to about 10,000 words or so.

caw

I always send in standard format :) .

Quickbread
02-20-2016, 11:33 PM
If an agent requests a partial and doesn't specify otherwise, then you're good attaching as a Word doc with standard formatting. Good luck! :)

blacbird
02-21-2016, 12:04 AM
I always send in standard format :) .

I wasn't saying this for you, personally, but just as a general comment. We get a lot of threads here asking "how many pages is a novel?" and things like that, to which the only sensible answer is another question: In what format?

caw

Laer Carroll
02-21-2016, 12:26 AM
A word .doc file will be read by most non-Word word processors. The more recent .docx format should be avoided. Both formats are proprietary formats, but .doc has become almost an industry standard.


I always send in standard format.

Keep in mind that files from a word processor typically cannot be read by email programs. This is true especially of those on cell phones which are often simplified versions of email programs on Windows and Mac computers. And a lot of agents read queries on their phones, especially outside office hours. Agent hours tend to be long and stretch into the weekends.

If agent query guidelines allow attachments (few do) you're likely OK with a .doc file. If they want it inline in an email or a Web form best to save your file to .txt format before inserting it into an email or Web form.

Bmann
02-21-2016, 08:41 PM
A word .doc file will be read by most non-Word word processors. The more recent .docx format should be avoided. Both formats are proprietary formats, but .doc has become almost an industry standard.

Keep in mind that files from a word processor typically cannot be read by email programs. This is true especially of those on cell phones which are often simplified versions of email programs on Windows and Mac computers. And a lot of agents read queries on their phones, especially outside office hours. Agent hours tend to be long and stretch into the weekends.

If agent query guidelines allow attachments (few do) you're likely OK with a .doc file. If they want it inline in an email or a Web form best to save your file to .txt format before inserting it into an email or Web form.

Didn't know about the doc/docx format :( . Hopefully if there's a problem they will let me know.

lizmonster
02-21-2016, 09:20 PM
Didn't know about the doc/docx format :( . Hopefully if there's a problem they will let me know.

It's easy enough to convert to .doc, but I haven't hit a word processor that has a problem with .docx in at least five years (possibly longer).

kevinwaynewilliams
02-21-2016, 11:51 PM
It's easy enough to convert to .doc, but I haven't hit a word processor that has a problem with .docx in at least five years (possibly longer).

Haven't hit one with a problem, but I still find that OpenOffice, LibreOffice, and Word are more likely to give identical results with .doc files. They interpret .docx files slightly differently. Never out and out wrong, but different.

Old Hack
02-22-2016, 09:28 PM
A word .doc file will be read by most non-Word word processors. The more recent .docx format should be avoided. Both formats are proprietary formats, but .doc has become almost an industry standard.

I work with lots of publishers and agents, and none have any problems with .docx files.


If agent query guidelines allow attachments (few do) you're likely OK with a .doc file. If they want it inline in an email or a Web form best to save your file to .txt format before inserting it into an email or Web form.

Or you could just copy and paste...

Laer Carroll
02-23-2016, 12:46 AM
I work with lots of publishers and agents, and none have any problems with .docx files.

That's generally true of every organization, not just those in the publishing world. But .docx in its mostly-final form was introduced in 2007 and the info-using world is still adjusting to it in a variety of ways. Some of them are easy to use, some not so. I feel better using .doc when sending files to anyone.



If [an agent or publisher] wants [a sample] inline in an email or a Web form best to save your file to .txt format before inserting it into an email or Web form.


Or you could just copy and paste...

I must ask: copy/paste what? A file in standard manuscript format? Or something else?

There are a couple of problems with copy/paste when sending a SMF word processing file as inline text in an email or Web form.

SMF includes indenting each paragraph. Copy/paste doesn't preserved indents, on Windows systems at least. Too, even if it did, indents don't work with a lot of email programs, especially the simplified ones on cell phones. Agents are very busy people who are increasingly using phones to read queries, especially outside their regular office hours.

SMF includes double-spacing. Again, something which copy/paste doesn't preserve.

Thus the usual format for inline email and Web forms is no indents, single spaced, paragraph-end hard breaks. In other words, pretty much as this and other posts appear on AW and other Web platforms.

This means before inserting a MS in standard form inline in an email program you have to reformat paragraphs to match email limits. Then you can copy/paste the result. Or alternatively, save the file in .txt format so that the next time you send out a query you already have an email-formatted copy which you can read and insert via copy/paste into the new query.

Old Hack
02-23-2016, 11:37 AM
That's generally true of every organization, not just those in the publishing world. But .docx in its mostly-final form was introduced in 2007 and the info-using world is still adjusting to it in a variety of ways. Some of them are easy to use, some not so. I feel better using .doc when sending files to anyone.

As I said before,


I work with lots of publishers and agents, and none have any problems with .docx files.



I must ask: copy/paste what? A file in standard manuscript format? Or something else?

There are a couple of problems with copy/paste when sending a SMF word processing file as inline text in an email or Web form.

SMF includes indenting each paragraph. Copy/paste doesn't preserved indents, on Windows systems at least. Too, even if it did, indents don't work with a lot of email programs, especially the simplified ones on cell phones. Agents are very busy people who are increasingly using phones to read queries, especially outside their regular office hours.

SMF includes double-spacing. Again, something which copy/paste doesn't preserve.

Thus the usual format for inline email and Web forms is no indents, single spaced, paragraph-end hard breaks. In other words, pretty much as this and other posts appear on AW and other Web platforms.

This means before inserting a MS in standard form inline in an email program you have to reformat paragraphs to match email limits. Then you can copy/paste the result. Or alternatively, save the file in .txt format so that the next time you send out a query you already have an email-formatted copy which you can read and insert via copy/paste into the new query.

As has just been explained to you in another thread, you're overcomplicating this.


Yes, this is tricky. I sometimes get queries where the font is tiny or the formatting is FUBAR. I'm pretty understanding since we have that inline requirement (unsolicited attachments are dangerous), but you still want to test it out on a couple of email clients if you can. Make sure it looks okay. Feel free to format the paragraphs like you see on this forum, with double spacing between paragraphs, if that's what it takes. Again, we know this is not how your actual manuscript will look. You just need it readable, not standardized.


Unrelated question: how often do you read queries on your cell phone and how much on a PC or Mac?

Never on my phone. That sounds horrible. All queries are read in my PC. However, when I request a full or partial, I send it to my Kindle to read, so I can get away from online distractions and give it the full attention it deserves.

I don't know any agents or editors who demand that writers send their work in in the usual format (double spacing, etc) when pasting it into the body of an email. It's so difficult to do; and the double spacing can actually work against you as it makes it difficult to read on phones, for example--all that scrolling down! The agents and editors I know are all reasonable, professional people and just want to be able to read your work without squinting.

Laer Carroll
02-24-2016, 05:09 AM
In another thread (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?316007-Agent-Q-amp-A-Michael-Carr-Veritas-Literary-v2) in this forum Michael Carr of the Veritas agency (http://www.veritasliterary.com/submissions.shtml) says this.



I'm pretty understanding [about queries] since we have that inline requirement (unsolicited attachments are dangerous), but you still want to test it out on a couple of email clients if you can.

That's relevant in this thread too. Try to send your query to the most basic email reader you can get easy access to, as they are the least forgiving, to make sure your query is easy to read.

An example of how your text can be made hard to read is if you are still reflexively typing two blanks between sentences as used to be the standard practice for typewritten text. Some email readers will change the second blank to a funny character, often or &nbsp. Double paragraph breaks to add an extra blank line can add unreadable trash too. Ditto bolded or italicized text, though even fairly old email readers usually handle them.

The most reliable way to find and fix these problems is to save your word processing file to a .txt file, then copy/paste from that, not your WP file.

Sounds too complicated? Unfortunately, the world is complex. Best to test your query on yourself or a friend before sending it to an agent.

Quickbread
02-24-2016, 07:51 AM
I don't see anything in that agent's quote that's recommending formatted text. All he means is that you should test your email to check for strange errors. When people copy and paste from formatted documents into an email, strange things can, and often do, happen. That's why formatting of all types is not a great idea for email text.