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neurotype
05-23-2018, 03:33 PM
Hi All,

Just a general question about formatting sample pages for query letters where the work is pasted below the email.

When I last queried in 2011, I included a / around any italicized phrases, as in: /I love you/, she thought.

Now it seems like the protocol is to paste the sample in plain text and then add the italics using the email formatting? I tested some emails last night and the italics went through, but obviously when you send across different email servers I'd be worried that the text might disappear somehow. I'd rather the text stay put and have the /, but if this isn't the norm I don't want to confuse the agents.

Any recommendations?

Thanks :)

Earthling
05-23-2018, 07:43 PM
I'm not an agent but I've never heard of the /text/ format and I wouldn't know what on earth it was supposed to signify. I'd assume it was a formatting error.

Just send them as normal italics. It's highly unlikely that an email server used by an agent wouldn't be able to handle that, especially if you send it from a common email service like Gmail.

Lisa Driscoll
05-29-2018, 07:29 PM
I read somewhere that rather than Italics, it's preferred to see that text underlined for the purpose of manuscript writing. This seemed odd to me, but the idea was that Italics don't jump out when you're skimming text or in some fonts. Any thoughts on underlining?

Old Hack
05-30-2018, 11:46 AM
The requirement for underlining rather than italics dates back to typewriters, which couldn't easily produce italics but which could underline. Now, it's not an issue. Italics where you need them.

AW Admin
05-30-2018, 02:35 PM
I read somewhere that rather than Italics, it's preferred to see that text underlined for the purpose of manuscript writing. This seemed odd to me, but the idea was that Italics don't jump out when you're skimming text or in some fonts. Any thoughts on underlining?

Unless the publisher or agent you are submitting to specifically states otherwise, it's pretty standard now to use italics.

But check the specific submission requirements, always, and follow them.

Aggy B.
05-30-2018, 05:43 PM
I use italics rather than underlines unless specifically requested when I submit material. Most email programs now will handle the basic formatting, but you likely have to insert the desired text by hand. (It depends, though. Some combinations of word processor plus email program will read the formatting out of the original document and some won't.) If you find yourself in a situation where you need to indicate underline (rather than italic) the proper formatting cue _looks like this_. The /is also acceptable for italic/ if your email doesn't have the actual text formatting available. And *indicates bold*. [Again, most email will support these font subsets, but so folks are aware, these are the keystrokes for these in most word processing programs - although the one for italics is used infrequently. But there are autoconvert options in most versions of Word/LibreOffice/OpenOffice now for both underline and bold.]

WeaselFire
05-31-2018, 08:12 AM
Format sample pages in your query the same as you would format them in the full manuscript.

Jeff