How Does Formatting in E-Queries Work?

Q. I have a question regarding the formatting of a synopsis and/or sample pages within the text of an e-mail query.  It sacrifices formatting, and since agents do not want attachments which preserve the original formatting, is there some way to paste the contents into an e-mail which keeps it intact?  Am I overlooking a handy computer function?  Or do agents understand the nature of the condition and focus strictly on the text in these cases?  I’m all for paperless transactions, but when my sample writing is jumbled together in a mess in an e-mail, it makes me feel uneasy and unprofessional.
        – Kristin

A. I think agents know what they’re getting into, so you don’t have to worry much. 
       Do your best with indents and you can even have a paragraph break (a blank line) to show changes in paragraphs if you’re really that worried.  I don’t know about you, but my e-mail has the ability to itacilize words, so you may want to look over your submission and italicize anything that needs it – if the text got messed up in your cut & paste.
       Much more worrisome than the formatting changes, at least in agents’ minds, is how writers use e-queries as an excuse to write really long queries.  Just because it’s electronic doesn’t mean you get to skip the “one-page rule.”  Keep it short and sweet, because a long query is a long query on paper or in e-mail.

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4 thoughts on “How Does Formatting in E-Queries Work?

  1. Bill Peschel

    If I may add two words of advice:

    1. Your software probably has a "Save As" function that will allow you to save your file under another name. If you can, save the file in an ASCII or TXT (text) format (it might say something such as "save file as type" with the options including Word, WordPerfect, HTML or plain text).

    Saving it this way will strip the hidden coding from your proposal.

    2. Then, reopen that second file, cut and paste, and e-mail it to yourself and see if that helps.

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