PDA

View Full Version : Sample pages - beginning or...?



soapdish
12-06-2016, 04:37 AM
When an agent's submission guidelines say that along with your query they want "10 sample pages" from the MS, do they really want the first 10? Or can you pick 10 from anywhere in the book? Usually guidelines say "first 10" or something like that. But occasionally I bump up against that ambiguous wording.

Would it be weird to send 10 from later in the book? :Huh:

amergina
12-06-2016, 04:39 AM
They want the first 10 pages of the book.

Katrina S. Forest
12-06-2016, 04:41 AM
Personally, the first question in my head would be, "What exactly is wrong with the first ten pages that you'd rather send ten other pages?" If it's something like, "the story doesn't pick up until page 20", then why isn't the book starting at page 20?

To me, the best bet is always to send the first 10, whether "first" is used in the guidelines or not.

Aggy B.
12-06-2016, 05:25 AM
They always mean the first ten pages. The same with three sample chapters - they want the opening of your book, not some random section in the middle.

soapdish
12-06-2016, 05:25 AM
They want the first 10 pages of the book.Argh! Why don't they say THAT then? As if we writers don't have enough to stress over when hitting send. Thank you, though. That was kind of the answer I figured. I just needed to bounce it off people more experienced. :)


Personally, the first question in my head would be, "What exactly is wrong with the first ten pages that you'd rather send ten other pages?" If it's something like, "the story doesn't pick up until page 20", then why isn't the book starting at page 20?

To me, the best bet is always to send the first 10, whether "first" is used in the guidelines or not. No, it's definitely where the story starts. We jump right in with action. But in the first 10 pages there is a...violent(?) sex scene. Consensual, for sure, I don't think there's an issue there, or that it'd need a trigger warning. None of my many betas have said so, or had an issue with it.

I was previously worried about my first pages, but when I workshopped the book at a conference, everyone (including the leader) raved about them. To the point I was thinking maybe they were teasing me and were going to say, "Ha! Just kidding, this opening sucks!" But, turned out they were serious.

Anyway, I guess after so many rejections I was wondering if maybe the first ten were making it seem like the rest of the story was erotic (which it's not) or...I dunno, hindering me in some way when they are the first pages read.

I thought, well, if they don't care which 10 I send, maybe I'd try an experiment and send a different 10. To see if it garnered a request for more. :D

soapdish
12-06-2016, 05:28 AM
They always mean the first ten pages. The same with three sample chapters - they want the opening of your book, not some random section in the middle.Most of the time they say "first three chapters" or "first 50 pages" or whatever. That random "sample chapters" makes me obsess! :P You know, what we do best, us writers. ;)


ETA: And I guess I should add that the opening pages have earned me two partials. The ONLY partials I've gotten. So maybe they are just fine and I just need to doubt them less. *sigh*

Siri Kirpal
12-06-2016, 07:39 AM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

The only time it's not the first pages is when you're doing a non-fic proposal, and then they want the intro and one or two representative chapters.

Doesn't sound like that's what you're doing.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal