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Mail Call: How To Send A Manuscript To A Literary Agent

Dear Writer’s Relief: How do I send my complete book (or novel, or memoir) to a literary agent?

First, check with the agent in question to see if he or she has any preferences regarding format or method of mailing. Some agents hate to sign for packages. Others don’t like boxes (it’s annoying to have to break them down).

If the agent isn’t picky or doesn’t specify, industry standard “best practices” hold that you should send your printed manuscript as follows:

· Unbound (no spiral binding, etc.)

· In an envelope, not a box

· Held together by a large rubber band

· Delivery confirmation (but no signature necessary)

· Cover letter with information about the book

· Copy of the original query letter, for the agent’s reference (this is not necessarily industry standard, but it can help remind an agent of which book he or she requested)

To learn more about what to do when a literary agent requests your manuscript, visit our Publishing Tool Kit: Everything You Need To Know About Literary Agents.

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4 Responses to Mail Call: How To Send A Manuscript To A Literary Agent

  1. Hi Alexis,

    You would need to check the submission guidelines on each agent or publishers site. Every agent/publisher is different, but if they are accepting submissions they should have guidelines on how they are willing to accept work. Best of luck!

  2. March 21, 2012 at 6:46 pm I’m sorry to hear that your story was not what they were looking for. From what I read, I loved your story and you just have to keep writing. I just know it will get published someday and be a big success. When my credentials (Pure Fame Media) were not approved for the Academy Awards and the Grammy Awards, I was so upset and began to question my writing capabilities but then I gave it a lot of thought and came to the conclusion that almost everyone has been rejected at least once. You pick yourself up and dust yourself off and continue on and keep writing and our time will come. I lose myself in my writing much of the time, it is my stress relief and I know that if I keep at it, really good things are bound to happen and the same goes for you Keep on writing!!!!

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