Rock, Queries, Paper

Hi Miss Snark- I hope you and Killer Yap had a great trip. Recently you referred to paper quality as telling you something about the sender, which made me wonder if you prefer 100% cotton as so many books advise or regular printer paper. I'm happy to send the manuscript on silk if it would make any difference in its reception, but I doubt it. I couldn't find a post in which you already covered this, but if you have, I'm sorry to ask again.

Regarding e-mail correspondence, I understand your reasoning as to why a hard copy allows for a more thorough review, but if the agent specifies e-mail should that method be used?

I'm glad one of the snarklings suggested you put all of your wisdom in a book. I imagined that's what you had planned all along. I can't wait to buy it.

In reverse order:

Miss Snark has no plans to make book, other than on the duration of the transit strike. Miss Snark likes other people to work hard to create things while she swills gin and conjures up deals.

If an agent specifies email, follow the instructions.

Now, paper.
Miss Snark loves paper. Kate's Paperie is one of her favorite places on earth. Crane and Company at Rock Center too, but in a pinch any office supply store can provide a fix.

Miss Snark is not about to get started on what kind of paper to send. Yes your manuscript looks cleaner and brighter on higher brightness number paper. Yes you want to make sure your inkjet or laser cartridge is not dimming midway through the novel (or your printer wavering--that drives me nuts).

The truth is though I'll mostly read what you send if it's on 8.5 x 11 paper, in black ink with 1 inch margins in a readable font.

If we undertake a project together I'll make you reprint it to my standards, but in the query process, I don't get too cranky about paper.


fictionista said...

Dear Miss Snark, a few months ago, I sent a query to an agent and last week I received an email saying he wants to work with me. We exchanged several emails about his editorial suggestions (all good) and talked on the phone, but he didn't mention a contract. Is it customary to sign a contract with an agent as one does with a publisher? If so, how should I inquire about it?

asdf said...

Another nitpicky detail - I'm about to start querying NY agents from overseas, and I'll be using A4 paper instead of 8.5 x 11 to send letter, chapters etc. I assume that isn't going to cause problems? Cheers!

Miss Snark said...

It's not a problem Elizabeth. It's what's ON the paper that drives me to drink, not the actual paper.

asdf said...


archer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
archer said...

Miss Snark, you have to understand that people have read that scary Noah Lukeman book, The First Five Pages, and it says stuff like if there is even an itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny yellow polka-dot indentation on the edge of a single page, then the agent will instantly toss the entire package, because obviously the fool supplicant is sending previously-viewed paper.

Okay, it's not nice to ask you to comment on a colleague's opinions. But Lukeman's opinions have probably occasioned several suicide attempts.