We had a fantastic response to our last submissions post outlining what we look for in a covering letter. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet then go check it out.
Now that you have the basis for a strong covering letter, we want to make sure that you have the answers to those last nagging questions. You want your submission to be as user friendly as possible for the reader. So before you let your submission out into the world have a quick look at some of our tips and answers to frequently asked questions.
One of the most common questions we get asked is in what format we want your synopsis, covering letter and first three chapters. The answer is that we want a PDF or a Word document. Please note that this does not include Apple Pages. If you don’t use Microsoft software then please save the document as a PDF and send it to us in this format.
It is really important that you do not send us your work in any other format. Due to security reasons we are not able to accept submissions in which your work is accessible via a website link or drop box file. Stipulating that the submission is virus free is unfortunately not sufficient.
Another question we are often asked is about the formatting of the documents. Our response is that you want to make you submission as readable as possible. This means using a clear font, nothing fully capitalised or with sprawling italics, and making sure that you use the same front throughout. Further to this, it needs to be reasonably sized, somewhere between font size 11-14 is great.
Please also make sure to number your pages and chapters. This may seem obvious but it’s really helpful for us, especially when we’re assessing some of the finer details of your first chapters. If you have chapter headings that’s absolutely fine, but adding a number next to them for the purpose of a submission is very helpful.
Why do we ask you to attach separate documents in your email? The simple answer to that is that it is much easier for us to read a Word document or PDF file than one long email. Copying and pasting your synopsis, chapters and covering letter into the body of an email is much harder for us to read.
By doing this we lose all sense of flow with your story. We want to know where one chapter ends and the next begins. We want to know how many pages you have submitted and how many pages each of your chapters contains. When this is copied into an email it is much harder to do. Again you want to make your submission as user friendly as possible, so try to avoid this.
It is really helpful for us if you put your name and the title of your work in the subject line of your email. It means that any submissions that might find their way to our junk inbox are sent to the correct Agent for review.
It also helps us to locate your submission should any queries arise.
We are often asked if you will receive a confirmation of receipt email, or if we will let you know when your work will be read. Due to the sheer volume of submissions we receive it is not possible for us to provide confirmation of receipt. We prefer to use this time to read your submission carefully. We respond to all submissions to let you know whether or not we would like to take your work forward.
So please sit tight, we will respond. The usual response time is between 8-12 weeks. If you have not heard from us within 12 weeks then please do get in touch.
Every week we receive emails addressed to the wrong Agency or with names misspelt. Please check this on our before you send it. And if you are copying and pasting your work, covering letter or any other elements into an email or document please make sure that everything is the same size and font.
Lastly, we are often asked whether it will be quicker to send a submission to multiple Agents within the Agency. We strongly encourage you not to do this. Each agent has a specific focus within the Agency so we suggest that you research the Agent that’s best suited to the type of work you are submitting.
We hope that these tips and answers will help you to tailor your submissions. These are all suggestions designed to give you the best shot of impressing us with your work. If there’s anything that you feel has been missed then get in contact with us via our Twitter @DA_Agency or Instagram @darleyanderson_agency.
Full submissions details can be found on our website, http://www.darleyanderson.com/submissions
For similar posts check out our archives for more submission tips and much more.