Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Paying Attention to Submission Guidelines

   Okay, now that we've covered 'how to find a literary agent' it's time to tell you what to do once you find one that you want to send a query letter to. (This will be an example of what to do when you find a literary agent to wish to Email online).

   On every literary agency website there are guidelines they give you. They can either be found in About Us, Contact, or Submission Guidelines (or just Submissions). You will click on it and read what they are looking and not looking for in books. You will read that, and then you will scroll down and read what they want you to send them.

   Example: I just Emailed a query letter and the first 25 pages on my novel to Bernadette Baker-Baughman with Victoria Sanders and Associates. (This agent has a blog called: Baker's Mark). On her blog is the Email she accepts submissions from, and submissions guidelines saying:

   I prefer a query via email, along with the first 25 pages pasted into the body of the email below your query. You can query me at: queriesvsa@gmail.com. Please address any queries for me to my attention (as this is the general query box for all VSA agents). You can learn more about my interests prior to querying me by clicking on the “Know Me” link. You can view the submission guidelines of Victoria Sanders & Associates here.

   Please send a query with the partial in the body of the email before submitting any additional material. I will request a full or partial manuscript be sent via email if I am interested in seeing more. Unsolicited manuscripts will not be considered. Queries sent with attachments will be deleted and unread. Typically, I review all materials in 4-8 weeks from receipt (I try to be faster, though).

   Back to me

   All the agents that I know of have Submission Guidelines, so pay attention to them! On one of the agents that I queried it said to send 20 pages, but I only sent the prologue (which is one page). An Email came back a month later (you also loose time when you don't send what they ask) to send the query again and the correct amount of pages.
   I had to resend the Email, and 2 weeks later I got a response from that agent saying that she was sorry but the novel did not sound right for their agency.
   So pay attention to those little things! You might think that it won't matter how many pages of your novel you send, but trust me, it does.

   Comment! Thanks for reading!

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