View Full Version : Please help me understand this letter

nancy sv
11-01-2007, 04:45 AM
I sent a query to an agent and just got this letter in the SASE I had enclosed. It is a form letter that says:

All manuscripts must be double-spaced, on white bond paper (single-side ony). Typeface must be Pica or Elite with no spaces between paragraphs unless there is a shift in time and place, etc.

Do not send more than the first 50 pages unless more has been requested.
Include a short bio and SASE
Then he added, handwritten:

No multiple submissions,please.
No e-mail submission
What does this mean? Am I to send in my proposal, making sure to put it in the font he wants, etc... ? This form just sounds so negative, and yet it kind of sounds like he wants to see the proposal.

Thanks for you help!

11-01-2007, 04:48 AM
So you sent a query to an agent and this is what you get. Was there a cover letter too? It sounds like there should have been a letter saying he's interested, along with this note on how to prepare the manuscript for submission. I don't know what to tell you...it really sounds like you got half the package?

nancy sv
11-01-2007, 04:51 AM
That's exactly how it sounds to me too. All I got was this letter. The heading on the letter said, "Guidelines for Submissions" so part of me says he was telling me I messed up by sending a query - I should have sent him the proposal straight away. On the other hand, the fact that he hand-wrote those two lines makes me think he wants me to send the proposal.

11-01-2007, 05:04 AM
Yes...the handwritten message tells me he was ACTUALLY asking for something. I really feel there is a missing letter. Oy vey...sometimes they make it so difficult. And you feel like you can't contact them to ask because you already feel like approaching them is like walking on ice. I feel for you. I also agree with your thoughts.

J. R. Tomlin
11-01-2007, 05:26 AM
There are times you simply have to call and ask. Listen they're not gods, and you have a legitimate question. Just call and say what you put in your post. Courteously ask for an explanation. If he didn't want a submission, they can't come through the phone after you. If he did, this is the sensible thing to do if you're confused by the instructions or they're accidentally incomplete, and he won't mind.

Edit: And if someone minds you calling and saying: "I got some instructions on submission in the mail from your office, and I'm a bit confused." then it's an agent who you probably don't want to work with anyway.

11-01-2007, 06:25 AM
I agree, you should call to make sure, but my instinct tells me that it's not necessarily a request--or if it is, the handwritten part is irrelevant here. After all, you didn't submit by e-mail, so why should he suspect you would? Rather, I wonder whether he hasn't gotten around to revising the sheet on which he puts his rules for submission. And if he took the trouble to hand-write the rules about no e-mail, etc., why didn't he take the trouble to say, "Sure, I'd like to see a proposal. See above."

It is peculiar. I don't want to be a downer, but this doesn't sound promising to me. Nevertheless, call, by all means--the worst that can happen is that you're told no, and you'll have had the experience of making this kind of call, which is useful.

11-01-2007, 06:29 AM
Which agent?

Ali B
11-01-2007, 06:36 AM
I say make the call. I mean, it may be painful, but maybe not as painful as sitting around and wondering.
Hope you find out that he loved your query and forgot to put the coverletter in. ;)

nancy sv
11-01-2007, 08:20 AM
Thanks guys! I'll try to call Friday morning - no way I will be able to call before then. And the agent is Theron Raines of Raines and Raines.