Author Topic: Email Formatting for Manuscripts  (Read 152 times)

Offline Wolfimoon

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Email Formatting for Manuscripts
« on: May 19, 2020, 04:34:14 PM »
A lot of agents want the first X pages/chapters pasted into the email. I've read a lot on how to format a file with the text for a manuscript, but found few on how to do so for pasting into an email. So far I have used email styles (space between paragraphs) and 12 pt Times New Roman as a compromise, but I don't know if that's right. I am assuming they are reading in the email, not copy pasting it into word where the indents would actually be readable.

How are you pasting in those pages? How are you calculating "5 pages"?

Offline Smellerby

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Re: Email Formatting for Manuscripts
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2020, 10:03:43 PM »
I use no formatting at all. I copy/paste the material into Notepad and then copy/paste it from there into the email to try and nullify any formatting that might try and stick. A lot of email hosts have a Remove Formatting button now too, so that helps. Agents have to know that trying to format an email and have it turn out the way you hope on the other end for absolutely everyone no matter what host/app/whatever they use for their email is impossible. The most important thing is that they can easily read it. Cutting all formatting can help prevent crazy/silly/wonky things from happening on the other end, so that's why I do it that way (I do add a space between paragraphs).

As for the pages, I have noticed that "5 pages" looks different depending on what you're using to open those pages. For example, a little bit more fits on a page in Word than Google Docs for some reason. As long as it is as close to 5 pages as you can get it, you're good. An agent wouldn't reject you for going a couple of lines over or under. (Fun fact, I once accidentally only submitted the first 5 pages to an agent who wanted 20 pages and I ended up getting a full request from that agent anyway).

But it should be the first 5 (or however many they're asking for) pages of your MS, times new roman, double-spaced.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2020, 10:07:14 PM by Smellerby »