Thursday, January 20, 2011

HOW TO SUB QUERIES & FULL MS IN THE DIGITAL AGE

by the amazing  Mark Weber

Subbing your ms to agents has definitely changed. No more do you print out reams of paper and ship them off in a box. Now you query and send full requested manuscript via email. And we agents then forward your email with the requested full manuscript to our e-reader, which for me is a kindle. So here are some important tips to help you sub successfully in the digital age:

1. When sending a requested manuscript via email, always send it as a .doc not a .docx since agents/editors cannot forward .docx to their kindles. (updated Jan 2012-Kindles now can download .docx)

2. Name your document/manuscript using your name and title of ms--example: Mellom DITCHED.doc--much of your title will be cut off on the Kindle Home Page so seeing your last name and first couple of words of your title really helps. Let's say we gab via Twitter and I think, I'm going to read her ms tonight....but without your name I have to scroll thru all of the ms on my kindle to figure out which one is yours. I might just stop at someone else's if theirs catches my eye first.

3. Put all your contact info---Name, Phone Number, Email Address--- on the first page of your document before the title so I can hit ‘Go to Beginning’ on my kindle, easily find your contact info, and call or email you with good news.

4. BTW, your query is a biz letter but not formatted like the old typewriter/snail mail days so don't format it as such. No need to put your return address on top left, and then date, etc. Put all that at the end under your name....it becomes your signature. If I am reading your query on my phone, I am not going to scroll thru all that to get to your query. I’ll save it for later when I am at my computer, and by then your query email has about 35 emails that came in after that. I do a lot of requesting via my phone---email you back for a request, not calling.

Here is my signature on every email I send, do something similar for yours.

Jill Corcoran
Agent
HERMAN AGENCY
310-XXX-XXXX
Jill@HermanAgencyInc.com
www.HermanAgencyInc.com
www.jillcorcoran.blogspot.com

5. If you have a website and/or blog, please put it in your signature. I am going to google you if I am interested and probably before I request your full (screening for crazy here and hoping to find wonderful kudos about you) so direct me to what you want me to see rather than letting google reveal who you are, or making me read through the 7 million John Smith's to figure out which one is you.

6. Questions on how to write a query letter? See these posts:

FORMULA FOR A QUERY LETTER

QUERIES AND SYNOPSIS: HOW TO GET AN AGENT SALIVATING TO READY YOUR MANUSCRIPT

QUERY LETTER SUICIDE 


7. Advice on how to write a kick-ass manuscript:
ACTIVATE YOUR STORY

HOW TO PLOT YOUR BOOK

TITLES & COVERS-YOUR BOOK'S BILLBOARD

RESEARCHING COMP BOOKS

 

Happy querying and good luck in finding the perfect agent, editor and publisher in 2011!

 

27 comments:

  1. This is actually a really helpful post. A lot of the information online about querying and submitting doesn't take new technology into consideration. Bookmarked!

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  2. I agree with Sarah. I've checked out books from the library about querying, and several of them have not been updated properly for the digital age.

    Your signature/contact example is IMMENSELY helpful, and thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to help those navigating queryland.

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  3. Thanks so much for the information and links. Times, they are a-changing, so this is very helpful.

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  4. So just to make sure I got this correct, we should start off a query letter with Dear Ms. XYZ... and proceed into the query?

    I see how it would make it easier to read on your phone and agree that all the books have not been updated to include this information.

    Thanks for the great posting.

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  5. I'm so happy that subs have entered the digital age! I don't go through nearly as much paper (or money for postage) as I did back in the dark ages.

    Thanks for laying this out so concisely!

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  6. Thanks, Jill, for the extremely helpful post!!

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  7. yes, Lara. See my FORMULA FOR A QUERY LETTER POST for more details.

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  8. Great post. So sad so many agents and editors aren't with the new age. Honestly, if an agent says they only take snail mail - I think why bother - if you can't keep up with the times you can't best represent me.

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  9. Wonderful post - thanks! I'm curious as to how you feel about PDFs vs. .DOC ...

    Elisabeth

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  10. I have to check on the 3rd generation kindle, but on the kindle 2 and 1 you cannot change the font size on a pdf and therefore it is really hard to read.

    If you have a Mac you hit Export to convert a Pages doc to Word.

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  11. Thanks Jill. I knew about Exporting, was just curious about PDFs on Kindles, since I have a different type of e-reader myself. Much appreciated!

    Elisabeth

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  12. These are all great, but the .doc and .docx are really important. Some computers like to attach other 'stuff' (a computer guy really described it to me that way), to .docx files. Yeah, makes them huge and sometimes corrupts them.

    Writers shiver in despair over corrupted files.

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  13. Love this post! Lots of great info. It looks like Kindle is winning the race:)
    Thanks so much, Jill for taking time to post this.

    It's gonna be a great new year! :)

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  14. Thank you so much for this post! Since I don't use an e-reader, I had no idea about Kindle's quirks and how formatting can make a big difference in your ease of reading. Great point about reading queries on a phone too. Maybe you should write an e-book on this? :-) Querying and Subbing in the Technology Age...

    Tweeting the post now.

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  15. Just tweeted this. Will share at my next crit meeting, too.

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  16. Very useful information--thanks so much! I'm glad you posted the link on the Blue Boards.

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  17. Thanks for posting about this issue; it's the first time I've seen anyone address it, and it's vital information.

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  18. This is a very useful post, especially the tips about formatting to suit an e-reader. Thanks for sharing your expertise.

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  19. Outstanding post! Thank you for taking us into the digital age and reminding us to better format for ereaders and smart phones. Thank you Jill!

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  20. Great insight into how to make the lives of agents easier. I know that just adhering to this can be half the battle of getting noticed.

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  21. wow Jill! super tip about what we name our files....that has never occurred to me, but makes complete sense.

    And considering google likes to associate searches for my name with a porn star, I can see the benefit of spoonfeeding internet sites. (although, I'm SURE it irks her too when someone mistakes her for an author)

    The Survival Mama

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  22. Great! Another fantastic resource, one more golden brick in the yellow-brick road.

    Only seconds before submitting a query, I read this blog.

    Thanks for the advice.

    I added this blog to my growing list to follow.

    Education costs a small fortune these days, but a little resourcefulness, perseverance, and determination to gain experience rather than the GPA costs nothing but time and patience.

    Too bad your interests don't include my contemporary YA...else your inbox would include a query from me.

    Tnx for the great tips

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  23. The signature thing never occurred to me. I will teach it and credit you for the insight, of course. Hope to see you soon...!

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  24. How should we show chapter breaks? The old way leaves too much space between them. Thanks! I don't have an e-reader either, so this is great information.

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