1. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    Email Queries

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by dizzyspell, Jan 6, 2012.

    I just have a couple of questions about email queries.

    Firstly, some submission guidelines say to write the subject line of a query email as, "Query: Title." Others don't specify that, but do say to direct attention in the subject line to the agent you wish to query. I would be inclined to submit to these agents with "Query: Title (attn: Agent)" in the subject line. Would that be correct?

    Secondly, a lot of agents who accept email queries say they want the first few pages (or first few chapters) copied into the body of the email. Do you just kind of slap this excerpt underneath your query letter without introduction, do you head it up as "First ten pages of manuscript:" or do you refer to the pages in your query?

    Thirdly, agents say they want manuscripts submitted double spaced, but double spacing doesn't copy over into the body of an email. Do they mean that they want the first ten pages, as they stand in a double spaced document, or is there some way to use double spacing in an email program?

    Thanks, I think that's all :)

    Sorry if this doesn't make sense. I was kept up by earthquakes last night and didn't get much sleep, so I researched agents to distract me, and just ended up confused :)
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    just do whatever each agent's guidelines tell you to do, period...

    again, don't go beyond what they ask for... your first ten pages would include the title page, so that's all you need... no agent is so stupid they can't tell what it is you've pasted there, so would need you to spell it out for them...

    if you copy and paste the pages into the email, they should remain in the same format... if they don't, you need to use a different email system...

    i'm sorry to hear you're having more quakes... i've been to christ church, loved the beautiful city and the so very nice new zealanders, so was in tears watching what happened to it in 'the big one'... hope the latest did no further damage...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  3. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    Thanks mammamaia :) I thought it was better to ask about protocol and risk looking stupid because the answers are obvious, than to accidentally do something completely wrong :)
     
  4. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't have experience specifically with email queries, but I think that the safest way to ensure double spacing in email is to ensure that the chosen portion of your manuscript text is absolutely plain text, with no formatting whatsoever, and then "hard wrap" it - that is, actually add two carriage returns at the end of each line.

    On bbEdit on the Macintosh, you can tell the program the maximum number of characters per line and have it do this hard wrap automatically. (Well, actually, I'm not sure if it will automatically do _double_ spacing, but once you have one carriage return between each line, it's easy to do a search and replace to change one carriage return to two.)

    I'm sure that there must be a similar text editor for the PC, but I don't know what it is.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    with hotmail and msn premium which is what i use, anything you paste into the email will retain its format... i don't know about other systems...
     
  6. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm old enough to remember when formatting in an email was a bonus, and there was no assurance that the formatting that was there in your sending system/client would survive, intact, to the receiving system/client. I still receive enough misformatted email that I would hesitate to trust formatting, rather than hardwired plain text, for something as important as obeying an agent's requirements for double-spacing. (And, for that matter, I still prefer plain text for email.)

    But I agree that it always comes down to what the agent wants, so if they want formatting, I'd try to find the email client with the most universally compatible formatting. (Though I'd still take my text through a plain-text-only editor just before the email and then format it in the email to avoid a mishmash of formatting codes on top of formatting codes.)
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    while it's true that formatting often does not survive due to the recipient's email system being different from the sender's, one must assume that agents insisting on material being sent in the email body will be prepared for such glitches...
     

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