This post is brought to you by
the one and only, Lisha Cauthen.
You can understand why agents/editors want First Contact with their potential authors to be through a safe, clean email. With the volume of correspondence they receive from strangers, the likelihood of viruses arriving in attachments is high.
Fine. So I took an opportunity to watch me a little Star Trek. First Contact. Get it?
The manuscript portion of your email query should be single-spaced and indent-free. So let’s look at the not entirely obvious method of easily inserting manuscript samples in an email query:
- Write your email query as usual, but at the end remind the editor/agent that there are three chapters or ten pages or whatever the guidelines call for embedded below.
- Copy-paste the manuscript or portion of manuscript into Notepad. (For Mac users, I understand you can use TextEdit in plain mode.) What is Notepad? It’s a Windows feature that strips out all of the formatting, including hidden formatting. Go to your start button and search “Notepad”. It’ll come up.
- Once pasted into Notepad, your text will be plain, single-spaced and indent-free. Go through and double-space between paragraphs. You will notice that chapter titles line up on the left margin. That is what you want.
- After your query letter sign-off of SINCERELY, HOPEFUL AUTHOR, skip a few lines. Then insert the TITLE OF STORY by YOURS TRULY.
- Skip another line or two, then copy-paste the plain text manuscript sample from Notepad.
- At the bottom of the text, type END.
Easy, right? Good luck!