Express Train to Clueville

Miss Snark,

When an agent asks for the first five pages, does that mean double-spaced? YES It is my understanding that you always double-space when submitting--with the exception of the query letter and synopsis. Is this correct? YES

My prologue is two single-spaced pages. Is it ok to send a bit (as in, maybe a page) more or less than what the agent requests, so they will have a complete chapter and I can dictate the cut-off point? YES

Also, some agents ask for three sample chapters. Does that automatically mean the first three? YES Some of my favorite chapters are near the end, but I'm guessing agents want the beginning, even if they don't specify. Am I right there? YES

Thanks very much. I enjoy your blog. THANKS

Surely there is some sort of place all this information is readily available?
Why, yes, yes there is.

It's call Guide to Literary Agents, How To Write A Query Letter and Writers Market.

I'm glad to answer questions, particularly ones where there is conflicting info, or no info.

But this! This is the absolute rock bottom fundamental stuff that you can get from almost any writing reference guide.

Think of Miss Snark as the last stop on the clue train, not the tour guide to publishing.


salty said...

still, it is nice of you to post this.

everything i learn in life takes: reading it, repeating it, reading it again, practicing it, being told - yet again - how to do it, practicing again, reading it again, repeating it back, teaching it

forever and ever

Greta LaGarbeaux said...

There is an old Army saying that summarizes how to conduct military training in any subject:
(1) Tell 'em what you're going to tell 'em.
(2) Tell 'em.
(3) Tell 'em what you told 'em.

I believe Miss Snark has administered some of these lessons often enough to train a regiment.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the clues. I'm horribly new to the whole "attempting to find representation and a publisher" gig and repeated smackings on the nose with what ought to be obvious is wonderfully helpful at this point!

Ryan Field said...

At least she didn't double space after her periods. :)

lizzie26 said...

Think of it this way, Miss Snark: Newbies ask you fundamental questions because you post accurate info. There are certain writing sites that can easily mislead the newbie.

judy said...

Think of Miss Snark as the last stop on the clue train, not the tour guide to publishing.

LOL. That made my day.

Anonymous said...

To quote Miss Snark:


Anonymous said...

"To quote Miss Snark:

"YES...YES....YES...YES....YES.....THANKS" "

Too bad she wasn't talking to George Clooney.

Pennyoz said...

"Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege."


I wonder if unknown slept or just sat all night thinking up wise things for me to quote.