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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.