Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February Requests: Format

Agents will request partial or full manuscripts in one of two ways: paste it in the email, or attach it. And it's usually pretty clear how they want it. They'll say paste or attach.

Pasting materials:
  1. Hit "reply"
  2. Add your note: (agent's name), Thanks for requesting (so many pages) of (title). You'll find the requested material pasted below. I look forward to hearing from you. (closing signature)
  3. Press "enter" a few times
  4. Go to your manuscript and copy the desired number of pages (you can go over a few to get to the end of a sentence or scene)
  5. Go to your email and paste the desired pages
  6. Send
Attaching materials:
  1. Save the desired number of pages in a .doc document (try not to use .docx as some ereaders have difficulty reading it)
  2. Don't use fancy graphics as it detracts attention from your manuscript and can show up funky on some monitors and ereaders
  3. Refer to my blog post Formatting for Ereaders if you want your manuscript to look pretty whether on a computer or ereader
  4. The file name you save your document under should be the title of your manuscript. Be sure your name and email is on the title page of your manuscript (so I know who it belongs to)
  5. In the email thread hit "reply"
  6. Add your note, (agent's name, Thank you for requesting (number of pages) of (title). The requested material is attached. I look forward to hearing from you. (closing signature)
  7. Attach requested material
  8. Send
It may seem pretty self explanatory, but you'd be amazed at how many people don't do this. It's simple. I need nothing else. No explanations of how you came up with the idea, how I shouldn't just the first 50 pages because it picks up after that, how much you worship the ground I walk on, etc.

Remember. Simple is good. It's your ms that needs to speak volumes. Not you.

Happy writing!


    Margie said...

    So, keep my hero-worshiping to myself. Okay. Got it :)

    Shiela Calderón Blankemeier said...

    And just so everyone knows - because I didn't when it happened to me - saving a .doc means saving it as an older/compatible version of Word. Docx is the newer/newest version. I had to google that :)

    Carrie Butler said...

    These posts make the whole process a lot less scary. Thanks, again! :)

    Susan Fields said...

    I missed your post on formatting for ereaders before - just added it to favorites. Thanks!

    Giles Hash said...

    I like that so many agents are continually posting this stuff out there. It makes it easy to remember :)

    Mart Ramirez said...

    Great tips!

    Carrie-Anne said...

    I'm glad to hear there are some agents who don't insist on Times New Roman even if they prefer it. I've typed in Palatino since the fall of '93 and couldn't imagine ever typing in anything else except Bookman, which I originally typed in and used Palatino as a close-enough lookalike for. (I still don't get why 12 pt in TNR is so small and looks more like 10 pt. One of many reasons I wouldn't type in TNR for anything.)