How Does Formatting in E-Queries Work?

Author:
Publish date:

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.

Shugri Said Salh: On Writing the Coming-Of-Age Story

Shugri Said Salh: On Writing the Coming-Of-Age Story

Debut author Shugri Said Salh discusses how wanting to know her mother lead her to writing her coming-of-age novel, The Last Nomad.

100 Ways to Buff Your Book

100 Ways to Buff Your Book

Does your manuscript need a little more definition, but you’re not sure where to begin? Try these 100 tips to give your words more power.

Kaia Alderson: On Internal Roadblocks and Not Giving Up

Kaia Alderson: On Internal Roadblocks and Not Giving Up

Kaia Alderson discusses how she never gave up on her story, how she worked through internal doubts, and how research lead her out of romance and into historical fiction.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Seven New Courses, Writing Prompts, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce seven new courses, our Editorial Calendar, and more!

Crystal Wilkinson: On The Vulnerability of Memoir Writing

Crystal Wilkinson: On The Vulnerability of Memoir Writing

Kentucky’s Poet Laureate Crystal Wilkinson discusses how each project has its own process and the difference between writing fiction and her new memoir, Perfect Black.

From Script

Approaching Comedy from a Personal Perspective and Tapping into Your Unique Writer’s Voice (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by ScriptMag.com, interviews with masters of comedy, screenwriter Tim Long ('The Simpsons') and writer-director Dan Mazer (Borat Subsequent Movie) about their collaboration on their film 'The Exchange', and filmmaker Trent O’Donnell on his new film 'Ride the Eagle' co-written with actor Jake Johnson ('New Girl'). Plus, tips on how to tap into your unique voice and more!

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Accepting Feedback on Your Writing

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Accepting Feedback on Your Writing

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is not accepting feedback on your writing.

Writer's Digest Best Creativity Websites 2021

Writer's Digest Best Creativity Websites 2021

Here are the top creativity websites as identified in the 23rd Annual 101 Best Websites from the May/June 2021 issue of Writer's Digest.

Poetic Forms

Englyn Proest Dalgron: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the englyn proest dalgron, a Welsh quatrain form.