I recently completed my final edit of my mystery, and raced off to Office Max and faster than you can toss back a double Gin Fizz, had the manuscript printed on both sides of the page, added an electric blue cardstock cover and had it bound with a nifty little spiral-notebook contraption. Not to worry, I know better than to send a bound manuscript off to an agent. These went to my trusty critique partners for the official bloodletting. I kept one for myself for my own hardcopy edit.
After critiquing dozens of unbound manuscripts over the years, which often had me chasing windblown pages across the lawn or having to take the time to reorganize 365 pages after a close encounter of the canine kind, I found I much preferred the pages held together in one cohesive unit.So, could you please explain to me why agents prefer unbound mountains of paper that cause all manner of frustrations over the more manageable bound variety?
Because the first thing we do is run them through the xerox machine. Xerox machines do not like bound copies. They chew them up and spit them out and say "follow the guidelines". Same reason you can't print on both sides of the paper. It makes the Mr. Xerox very unhappy. Miss Snark prefers to keep Mr. Xerox happy, and thus Mr. Technician from becoming a close personal acquaintance.