Sample pages question

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Adaephon Delat

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Hello,

I'm in the process of querying agents about an Urban Fantasy manuscript I've written. The problem is, it occurs to me I might have been doing something wrong all this time. Specifically, the sample pages. When an agent requests 30 sample pages, for instance, do they mean 30 pages double-spaced? Or single? With all the agents I've researched, only one so far has actually specified. In fact, it was that agent who prompted this question. Up until then, I'd been sending all my sample pages single-spaced. Now I'm wondering if I've been inadvertently doubling up on what was requested.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Query in the body of the email: single spaced.

Attached pages: double spaced.
 
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lizmonster

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Query in the body of the email: single spaced.

Attached pages: double spaced.
Yes, they do mean double-spaced pages - generally Times New Roman 12 pt, with 1-inch margins. (Very roughly, that's between 10K and 15K.)

But last time I queried (2019), most agents still weren't accepting attachments in emails, so you had to paste everything in the email under your query. I found it difficult/impossible to send a double-spaced email that would be reliably received as a double-spaced email on the other end.

So I figured out where the "30 page" break would be in the MS, cut and pasted, and made it look as nice as I could in the email. :)

I wouldn't worry much about the material you've already sent. Agents know this stuff can be confusing, and I imagine yours is a very common error. They're not going to reject a book solely because you sent them too much of it.
 
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Adaephon Delat

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Synopsis single-spaced if you are asked to send that
Thanks! I've been getting a lot of conflicting info on that in my research, so I'd wound up reworking my originally single-spaced synopsis from 2 pages single space to two pages double. I figure in an industry where less tends to be more, I probably can't go wrong with a leaner synopsis. Hopefully.
 

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My question also has to do with sample pages. If an agent asks for the first 20 pages and you have a chapter that ends on page 22, do you figure they would prefer that you send the two extra pages or do you give them only what they asked for? I would think that they would rather be able to finish the chapter than be cut off, but I wouldn't want them to think that I just wasn't following directions. This seems like a dumb question, but querying is intimidating.
 

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My question also has to do with sample pages. If an agent asks for the first 20 pages and you have a chapter that ends on page 22, do you figure they would prefer that you send the two extra pages or do you give them only what they asked for? I would think that they would rather be able to finish the chapter than be cut off, but I wouldn't want them to think that I just wasn't following directions. This seems like a dumb question, but querying is intimidating.
The wisdom I've read is that 20 pages means 20 pages, but it's okay to finish the sentence or paragraph.

Querying is certainly nerve wracking, but the worst thing an agent can do is not want more pages. The Super Rejection (where you're rejected so hard that it hurts your pets' feelings) is a rumor I started because I was feeling feisty.
 
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lizmonster

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My question also has to do with sample pages. If an agent asks for the first 20 pages and you have a chapter that ends on page 22, do you figure they would prefer that you send the two extra pages or do you give them only what they asked for? I would think that they would rather be able to finish the chapter than be cut off, but I wouldn't want them to think that I just wasn't following directions. This seems like a dumb question, but querying is intimidating.
Generally, if it's just a couple of pages, I finish the chapter. If it's more than that, I try to find a logical scene break.

I see it like this: this person is going to be a business partner. If they're the sort of business partner who'd think "I love this book, but they gave me two extra pages, so I guess I'm rejecting it," we're probably not terribly compatible anyway.

Anecdotally? Long before the end of any partial, they'll almost certainly have already decided whether or not they're requesting the rest.