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Author Topic: Font problem that may occur with query paste-ins  (Read 1243 times)
Munley
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Mr. Fluff -- from the SPCA


« on: October 22, 2017, 11:00:53 AM »

I always paste the name of each agent into my Word document and then paste everything into the email, and it looks the same as the body of the letter. I guess this agent is talking only about pasting the letter into the email after typing the agent's name in the email. Never dawned on me that the font difference could occur. Would it be obvious if it did?



    #querytip I'll say it again: if you're just going to cut and paste my name into a form query letter, at least make sure it's the same font.

    — Alec Shane (@alecdshane) November 12, 2016

Sometimes, if you’re sending a query letter to an agent, you will start a new email off by saying “Dear Mr. Shane” and then paste query letter text below into the email body. The problem is when you do this, the font for the salutation is oftentimes different from the font of the body text. When you’re an agent or editor and you see this, it completely takes you out of the moment, because it’s a stark reminder that you are not special, and simply the recipient of a cut & pasted message that many others have received. While everyone understands that you are indeed querying other agents, actively reminding someone of this is not necessarily the warmest/best move.


Source: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/pubtips-query
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koji
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2017, 03:02:45 PM »

It is super obvious when I type in the agent's name and then paste the letter. I can see what they're talking about. I usually grab the first letter of the letter, delete it, type in the name, then replace the first letter to make sure all the font is the same.
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Munley
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Mr. Fluff -- from the SPCA


« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2017, 03:38:15 PM »

It pays to take your time and not just crank out a batch without really looking it over.
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Rachael846
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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2017, 03:51:40 PM »

Once you have everything that you need pasted in, you can also select all and just pick the font you want from within the email program. Just be careful if you mess with italics or bold because you might accidentally erase the italics or other formatting.

When I was querying, I kept a "draft" of my query with the font and formatting I wanted (as well as just the word "Dear" at the top) in my gmail, and copied and pasted from that to a new email for each query. (As opposed to copying and pasting from Word every time.) I also had my synopsis and first pages saved as drafts so I could copy and paste them into a fresh email as well. I tested out how all of that would look by mocking up a "query" with synopsis and first pages and sending it to one of my other email addresses, then tweaked to get it to look the way I wanted it to.
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atwhatcost
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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2017, 05:24:27 PM »

I always paste the name of each agent into my Word document and then paste everything into the email, and it looks the same as the body of the letter. I guess this agent is talking only about pasting the letter into the email after typing the agent's name in the email. Never dawned on me that the font difference could occur. Would it be obvious if it did?



    #querytip I'll say it again: if you're just going to cut and paste my name into a form query letter, at least make sure it's the same font.

    — Alec Shane (@alecdshane) November 12, 2016

Sometimes, if you’re sending a query letter to an agent, you will start a new email off by saying “Dear Mr. Shane” and then paste query letter text below into the email body. The problem is when you do this, the font for the salutation is oftentimes different from the font of the body text. When you’re an agent or editor and you see this, it completely takes you out of the moment, because it’s a stark reminder that you are not special, and simply the recipient of a cut & pasted message that many others have received. While everyone understands that you are indeed querying other agents, actively reminding someone of this is not necessarily the warmest/best move.


Source: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/pubtips-query

But you pasted it into a Word doc before copy-pasting it into the email. I think that's more for people who type "Dear," then copy/paste the agent's name straight off the QT list, and then copy/paste the query from Word.

I find I do have to futz with my query, synopsis, and/or first X pages, because it comes from different sources. (Query is Word. Synopsis and first four chapters are a cloud document.) But, if I can get it all together in one doc before copy/pasting into an email, the font stays the same.

I've also noticed most agents aren't bothered too much by funky fonting, IF it's related to their screen is different than ours, but they get miffed when it hints at mass-mailing.
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drose
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« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2017, 07:40:53 AM »

I have my query letter in Word without a salutation. I copy and paste the document into the email and then type the salutation. The reason for this is to make sure I don't send the letter with the wrong name. Sometimes I forward a query letter if the request for sample material is the same, being very careful to erase the "forward" and change the name. It's always a good idea to check and double check that the name is correct before hitting 'send.'

I read in many interviews that the agents are aware of formatting changes when you email them or use an on line form, and it doesn't bother them all that much.

Having said this, there is a post from an agent (I'll have to check to see where I got it and post the link) about formatting a full manuscript when requested. There's a way to 'save as' where they receive it and can read easily on their devices, which these days are often ipads or other androids aside from laptops or PC.
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gushags16
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« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2017, 11:19:04 AM »

My process is to have a basic query letter in my word processing program. I save out a new one for every agent I send to, customize it in the program, and then copy it into gmail.

Gmail, for those who don't know, has a button that lets you strip all formatting out of the email. So I select all and then hit the button (it looks like Tx). You then have to remove extra spaces and add any italics that were stripped out.

The advantage of this is that I always know that the agent will receive it in plain text without any weird formatting or strange characters. It takes a little longer, but I think it's worth it.
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