November 26th, 2007


Agent Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Submissions

In the wake of the holiday, Agent Manners is feeling thankful for turkey gravy, grandma's stuffing recipe, mom's apple pie, and home-made-from-scratch brownies via the extended in-law family.

However.... she does not feel thankful for staples. And she wants to know what's up with this? More than half the queries that arrived last week (prior to the holiday) were stapled. Staples are nasty. They garner pulls on clothing and catch on fingers. The best ones, of course, are those queries with the SASE stapled to the sample pages, which requires removal of said staple in order to reply. Agent Manners has not quite seen this level of stapling -- usually there are a couple and most people use paperclips, binder clips, rubberbands, or leave the pages loose in the envelope. Is someone somewhere advocating the use of staples? If so, please take Agent Manners advice and desist.

And in the wake of that rant, Agent Manners offers this entry to receive questions regarding submissions etiquette. Post them in the comments with the usual "Dear Agent Manners:" and imaginative signatures (e.g. "rejected in Seattle") and we shall go to work. Questions will be accepted between now and end of business EST tomorrow.

Hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend.

from the mixed-up files of Agent Manners

Dear Agent Manners,

When sending a full MS, or indeed, anything that's too large for a tidy 9X12 inch or 10X13 inch clasp envelope, what is the preferred enveloping method? Should we be scavenging appropriate sized boxes, or would a Jiffy envelope do? Help me, Agent Manners, you're my only hope.


You'd Never Know My Dayjob Included Being the Shipping Manager, Would You? in Michigan


Dear You'd Never Know:

Agent Manners advises this: Pack the manuscript in such a way that it survives transit in roughly the same quality as when it first departs your desk. And remember page numbers on the off-chance the packaging fails and the post office repacks it in one of those stamped plastic envelopes (not that Agent Manners has ever received an unpaginated manuscript the postal service mixed up.... no....) The priority boxes, free for the taking at the post office, or a sufficiently sized jiffy envelope, and a few rubberbands should do the trick.