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RaggedEdge
07-16-2016, 12:40 AM
Hi, this is the first time I've started getting requests for more materials from agents (yay!), and so I have a couple questions:

1. Is it best to send a .doc file instead of a .docx if they ask for "a Word document" without specifying?

2. If an agent says: "Please send the query, a synopsis, and the first 50 pages to (email address) in an attached word document" (and I can't find anything more on their website), would you take that to mean they want all three things in ONE document, or would you maybe paste the query into the email and attach your pages as one file and your synopsis as another? This request came from a contest, so this agent doesn't have my query in her inbox. I rather hate to insert anything in front of my first 50 pages because it either throws off the page numbering, or it takes the place of the title page. Unless someone can suggest a better option. How would you handle that request?

Earthling
07-16-2016, 01:32 AM
1. Never occurred to me. I doubt it will matter. :)

2. It's useful for them to have it all in one document, but perfectly normal to send the query in the body of the email with a synopsis and 50 pages attached as separate documents.

RaggedEdge
07-16-2016, 06:02 AM
Earthling, thanks for your input!

I decided to put all three in a .doc document, with the 50 pages first, then the query, then the synopsis. I also pasted the query at the bottom of the email. Now time to put it behind me and relax. :tongue

Treehouseman
07-16-2016, 09:14 AM
Earthling, thanks for your input!

I decided to put all three in a .doc document, with the 50 pages first, then the query, then the synopsis. I also pasted the query at the bottom of the email. Now time to put it behind me and relax. :tongue

NOOOO!


1) query, 2) a synopsis, 3) and the first 50 pages - they've been quite succinct with their order preference. Not in the order I've bolded above which I hope is a typo.

Query first (also in the body of the email so they remember) then synopsis then pages.

Its not the end of the world, but you must hope to all that is holy that they won't nope-out on seeing no query or synopsis first!

Old Hack
07-16-2016, 11:12 AM
So long as the OP sent the material as a response to the request email I don't think there'll be a problem with the order in which the material was provided. The requesting agent will see that they've requested it. It's not a big issue.

Aggy B.
07-16-2016, 04:17 PM
I always put the query in the email because its the query. When sending both synopsis and pages I usually attached them as separate docs or put the synopsis after the pages, but I think I only did that when the sample size was 5-10 pages. (Making an agent scroll through 50 pages to get to the synopsis seemed like an unnecessary annoyance.)

The only time I put the query into a set of requested pages was sometimes agents will ask for that with a full submission - likely because they will be reading the file separate from the original email and want a refresher on which pages they are getting ready to look at. In that case the query goes first.

I kind of hate .docx as a file format because it's always really slow to open for me, but there's not a substantial difference between it and .doc. I will say that there was an agent I ran across that specifically said "no .docx". I mention that because the guidelines you've quoted sound suspiciously like hers. However, if an agent doesn't say "Not this particular file format" then you should be okay with just sending a Word document regardless of whether it's .doc or docx

Best of luck with your querying! :)

whiporee
07-17-2016, 06:56 AM
While the OP's case is a little different, I want to make sure that other readers understand query protocol. It can save them heartbreak -- or even worse, it can keep them out of the trash bin.

When querying, put everything in the body of the email. Query up top, then however they want the synopsis/ pages.

Unless they are specifically requested by the agent in a response to an already received query, emails with attachments are usually deleted post-haste. Too much risk of computer infection.

Once you get to a full request, I'd send it as a .doc rather than a .docx. They convert easily, but if the agent doesn't have the latest version of Word, it could slow them down.

And I'll repeat this just to make sure: unless you receive a specialized request -- so the agent is going to recognize your name -- do not send anything with attachments. I don't believe there is a faster way to get your query deleted without response.

Aggy B.
07-17-2016, 07:24 AM
While the OP's case is a little different, I want to make sure that other readers understand query protocol. It can save them heartbreak -- or even worse, it can keep them out of the trash bin.

When querying, put everything in the body of the email. Query up top, then however they want the synopsis/ pages.

Unless they are specifically requested by the agent in a response to an already received query, emails with attachments are usually deleted post-haste. Too much risk of computer infection.

Once you get to a full request, I'd send it as a .doc rather than a .docx. They convert easily, but if the agent doesn't have the latest version of Word, it could slow them down.

And I'll repeat this just to make sure: unless you receive a specialized request -- so the agent is going to recognize your name -- do not send anything with attachments. I don't believe there is a faster way to get your query deleted without response.

Jill Grinberg specifically asks for 50 pages as a .doc attachment. There's at least one other agency I queried that also asked for attachments because they asked for large samples with the query.

Most important take away: read the guidelines carefully. Do what the agent asks for and don't make assumptions. (Although in general, no attachments is a good idea, but there are exceptions.)

waylander
07-17-2016, 02:32 PM
I always used .rtf files as attachments, universally readable

Undercover
07-17-2016, 04:29 PM
Yeah, I've always done the query first in the body of the email, then the query, synopsis and then the ms. in one attachmet for requested material. Unless they state that they want it in separate files. For the files word .doc is best, imo. .docx tends to open up garbled sometimes. I always worry that will happen to them too.

Most important is to read the guidelines as others have stated. Some agents do want attachments on the first querying stage. But the query is definitely first for beginning the query stage. Even if they saw it in a contest or a Twitter thing or whatever, query always goes first.

But again, if they know you are going to query them and they saw some work from before and showed an interest, I don't think it will completely turn them off if the query was at the end.