Dear Miss Snark,
First, I can't tell you how much I enjoy the blog. In the vast, shark- filled ocean of dis-, mis-, and half-baked information about agents, your site is a verdant island oasis, replete with shady palm trees, cozy hammocks, and friendly monkey butlers serving margaritas.
Obligatory bowing and scraping aside, I have a question about a novel (no pun intended) submission technique.
I have posted the first fifty pages of my unagented novel, (title), as a PDF file on a website I registered for the book (http:// yadda yadda yadda.com). I thought this could be a good idea for a couple of reasons. First, it makes it easy for a potential agent that I've queried to take an immediate look at the work, without having to request a partial. I include the URL in the initial query letter, whether it's on paper or via email. Since the file is a PDF, properly formatted, the agent can print it out or forward it to an associate.
Do you think this is an appropriate way to go? Are there any drawbacks you can see? My goal is to speed up the query process, provide an convenient way for the agent to evaluate my writing, and to facilitate access to the properly formatted, readily printable manuscript.
Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Well, if you send me a cover letter and a link to a URL with pages of your novel I can tell you that you're getting a form letter back from me that says "not quite right for me" and I won't have read any of it.
First, I don't always read query letters sitting next to my computer.
Second, I tend to read query letters fast, and if you've sent pages I'll read them, and if you haven't I'll say no. My website is pretty clear about sending pages, cause that's how I like to get stuff.
Thus what I think you've got here is yet another novel way to shoot yourself in the font. Other agents may disagree, but almost everyone I know won't click to read much of anything.