1. katica
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    katica Senior Member

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    Electronic Submissions

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by katica, Jun 6, 2011.

    I have been working on a novel for the past year and a half. Sometimes I get stuck on it, but I think its important to write every day, so I have two short stories I also write on the side. I believe I completed one of them.

    I've rewritten it several times, had the final draft proofread by trusted individuals (and made the necessary corrections), and done a lot of searching on duotrope to find the places I wish to submit to.

    I'm trying to prepare my manuscript for submission and I know the chance of it being accepted is small, but I don't want to make it worse by doing this wrong.

    1. How does submitting electronically differ from paper submission?

    Like, so far I've left out the double spacing because that seemed more like something you'd do with a physical copy rather than an electronic one.

    2. Is there sites that you guys can give me that show me how to do this right?

    3. I read several sites about what constitutes a cover letter, but was given no examples. How do I make a cover letter and can you give me some examples for it? And where do I put my pen name?

    4. Can you link me to some examples of manuscripts submitted electronically?

    5. Is a cover letter the same as a query letter? Because it sounds wrong, but a bunch of places I am researching at says that this is the case.

    Please help me. I'm such a mess worrying about this. This is very important to me. Don't make fun of me either because I can't know how to do this until I am told and I'm sorry in advance if I overlooked something.

    I will be researching other places and also this site.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You will pay less postage. Other than that, the formats generally do not differ much at all. However, as always, check the publisher's submission guidelines to be sure.
     
  3. katica
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    katica Senior Member

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    I've been reading them, but they are vague. So you are saying I should double space?

    I also don't know things like if I should include all of it in one document or separate the cover letter and stuff from the rest.

    EDIT: So far I've been researching this the past five hours and have learned nothing. I am okay with not knowing all of it with five hours of research, but getting nothing at all is pissing me off.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...it doesn't... you submit the same ms, in the same format... simply do so as an attachment, instead of on paper...

    ...wrong!... all mss still have to be double-spaced when submitted... you're thinking of material that's to be published online, where everything's single-spaced... that has nothing to do with submitting material to an agent or publisher to see if they'll accept it...

    ...you're on one!

    ...a cover letter usually has only a reference to the fact that the material was requested... for specific details, you must check each agent's/publisher's submission guidelines... you can google for 'cover letter samples'...

    ...if you use a pen name, it goes only in the by line under the title on the ms' first page [or cover page]... your real name must be used for all correspondence, in contact info and signature...

    ...there's no need to do that, since there's no difference, as i explained above... here's the best ms format guide you'll find anywhere: http://www.shunn.net/format/

    ... no... google for 'query letter samples' and you'll see that a query is much longer and includes a summary of the book being offered...
     
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  5. katica
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    katica Senior Member

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    I knew a cover letter probably wasn't the same as a query letter. I already know what a query letter looks like, but I was googling cover letter for novels and short stories and all the results were saying that it was the same as a query letter, which is why I asked here.

    Also, the places I am submitting too, some only post their stuff online and others both online and in a magazine.

    In the first instance I single space and the second I double space?
     
  6. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    Most places list their formatting guidelines clearly. Make sure you read these. However, some request that you attach a partial (first 50 pages, 3 chapters, first chapter, etc.) into the body of your email that contains your query letter. Since most email becomes difficult to format, the formatting guidelines usually do not apply to these scenarios, but when they request the manuscript as an attachment, the guidelines apply. I could be wrong with the former statement, but I've sent several query letters out in that regard and did not receive a negative comment about the formatting. When they request more or the full material though, make sure you properly format it before sending.

    On this though, make sure, and this is important, that you find out if your initial query is supposed to include sample pages and how you are to attach those sample pages. If they want you to put them in the body of the email and you attach a file, they will most likely delete without reading.

    Also, no matter how you see a publisher present material they publish (online or in a magazine), you do not format your manuscript to reflect their publications. The usual, safe format is TNR 12 pt font, double spaced, and one inch margins. The publisher will format the material to suit them once it is ready.
     
  7. katica
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    katica Senior Member

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    I think you need to read my actual post.

    Because I'm submitting a short story and not a novel and all places so far that I've looked into the submission guidelines of say to give them the whole story.

    Also, lots of them are vague about the formatting. In fact, this first one says give a cover letter, but other than that gives me no guidelines for actual format (except to send it in either .doc or .rtf).

    I know how to read directions and I read their page on submissions thoroughly more than one time, but I think they are making a lot of assumptions about what I should know about formatting and the submission process without actually saying any of it.
     
  8. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    You should double space for both cases unless stated otherwise.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes... that!
     
  10. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    I apologize for misreading your post. You opened it with your work on a novel and I got confused along the way. Still, my post stands. If you cannot find submission guidelines for magazines or journals anywhere, the standard is usually 12 pt TNR and double spaced with 1-inch margins.

    And if that's not exactly how they want the material formatted and they do not list how they want the material formatted, chances are they will change it themselves, especially if it's attached as a .doc or .rtf or any other variation of a word processor file where it's a simple task of highlighting all of the text and pressing a button. Formatting is important, but it's not the end all of short story or article publications or submissions (do not read this last sentence as a "I'll just send it off and they can format it" sentence :)).
     
  11. katica
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    katica Senior Member

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    ^ Don't worry. I'd never take it that way. I'm very serious about my writing and I will do anything to make it more likely for me to be published.

    Anyway, thanks to this site, I already submitted my manuscript a few days ago. I was rejected, but they have three types of rejections stated on their site:

    1. Wrong formatting
    2. We didn't like your story
    3. And the near miss rejection where they liked your story, but say they can only accept twelve stories a year and encourage you to submit again in the future. Only 10% get this rejection letter.

    And I got the third one, which made me pleased with myself, but it wouldn't have happened if you guys hadn't helped me so much with formatting, so thank you.

    XD LOL. If you can't tell, I am not at all discouraged by rejections. Especially good ones.
     

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