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1. Do you number the pages on your manuscript? (Believe it or not, Writer's Market doesn't say!)
2. For non-fiction, should I include a Table of Contents? Should I put it in there before the prologue, just like a typical book? *head desk* I feel so stupid...
Have been told 1= Yes, 2 = Yes, Yes. If you know otherwise, feel free to chime in. :)
3. Would someone write my query letter to an agent for me for a plate of nachos? ;)

For those wondering what the hell I'm talking about, I think I've finally finished my book, Oh My Heck! An Insider's Guide To Identifying (and avoiding) Mormons.

(so people don't want electronic submissions typically, huh? Damn. It's so much faster.)

OT: happy birthday, Snow!
OT #2: I had a crap bottle of wine last night that tasted like apple juice with a dirty sock soaking in it. GROSS. Fortunately I had a bottle of bordeaux on hand to get the stink out. If you like overly sweet wine, or really fruity (to the point of being tropical) Reisling, that's your wine. you can have all of it.
OT #3: You can still play the music meme from yesterday! READ THE RULES. There's some fun music for downloading over there, too. Big thanks to those of you that shared your lists and the links to go with it.


( 42 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:19 pm (UTC)
Advice from someone who has worked as an editor
You MUST number your pages. You should also have title/author in the corners as well. Microsoft Word will give you options for doing this automatically.

Table of Contents is also a must. Yes, before the prologue.

LOL. I think you can find sample query letters on Google. ;-)

Edited at 2009-01-14 04:19 pm (UTC)
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Advice from someone who has worked as an editor
My name on every page? I actually have Microsoft Works and it blows. I need to use Open Office to do all of that, I believe. *scratches chin*

I have sample querry letters in Writers Market, I'm just wanting to be laaaaaaaaazy. ;)

Thank you for the advice!
Jan. 14th, 2009 05:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Advice from someone who has worked as an editor
Yep. Editors can be reading several books at a time, and if your pages aren't specifically labeled as YOUR pages and they get mixed up together, this can shoot the entire afternoon straight to Hell.

Hehe. Just do it like a high school book report--snag one and edit it only as much as you need to be about your book and still make grammatical sense. ;-) (Not that I ever did that...)

No problem. :-)
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:25 pm (UTC)
I tried that evolution stuff a few weeks ago. Very yuk.
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
Isn't it gross? Bleh.
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:25 pm (UTC)
Not a published writer, or even a writer at all, but yay for finishing! And good luck with the submission process and all that!
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you thank you!!
Jan. 14th, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC)
No advice on mms style (I can't read courier at all, even when my vitamin R is at optimal titre, so someone else will have to do my prep, if I ever finish anything) but I would like to recommend Tartan out of Oregon for a dandy crisp and very dry methode champaignoise; Chardonay and Pinot Grigio. Oregon Pinot Grigios, in general, are very fine. I'm not much for whites, but I've had a couple of those recently and was very pleased.

Julia, I can make excuses for a glass of red as health-enhancing, so when I drink, I drink that
Jan. 14th, 2009 05:24 pm (UTC)
I like Pinot Grigios, typically in summer. I don't go much lighter than that. :D

I'm with you: red wine, and the more robust and spicy, the better!
Jan. 14th, 2009 05:09 pm (UTC)
1 & 2 - Do whatever works for you, editors will change everything anyway.

3 - Search here for all your agently advice: http://misssnark.blogspot.com/


Edited at 2009-01-14 05:11 pm (UTC)
Jan. 14th, 2009 05:24 pm (UTC)

Oh, isn't her site great? I had forgotten that I bookmarked that - thank you!
Jan. 14th, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC)
Absolutely number your pages, put a table of contents in and put it before the prologue. You can use the header/footer option to put the page numbers, and generally at least your name, on each page.
Jan. 14th, 2009 05:28 pm (UTC)
am doing that right now, mon capitane!
Jan. 14th, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
It is also helpful to put the name of your manuscript and which edition it is, that helps both the editor/agent and you. When you get it back, and make corrections, you will know which version you are looking at. I have had nightmarish times trying to figure out which pages I was supposed to send BACK to the editor.
Jan. 14th, 2009 05:38 pm (UTC)
"name and edition of manuscript"

on every page?
Jan. 14th, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
yes, my footer would have name, manuscript title, edition or date, and page number...on every page. You only have to type it once, in the footer section in page setup.
Jan. 14th, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC)
What everybody else as said! Am not published author (well, journalism) but I do have subscriptions to some trade mags and def. for UK, name & page, table of contents - everything that makes it easier for your editor, even if some particular inclusion isn't quite 'house style'.
Jan. 14th, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
Will do, am doing, it's all so daunting! Why can't I just walk outside and have everything handed to me? ;)
Jan. 14th, 2009 05:34 pm (UTC)
By a sparkling boy on a pony? I KNOW.

How many people are you sending it to? I am so interested in all of this, I can't wait to hear all the details. Like, every single nuts and bolt publishing geekfact, I am there. And REALLY EXCITED, as doubtless the editors will be too! How did you decide where to send it?
Jan. 14th, 2009 05:41 pm (UTC)
I don't know how many I'm sending it to yet. I have made a list of about... er, 10 agencies that specialize in memoir/satire-humor. I don't know if there are rules about how many queries you can send out at a time. Two? Three? Screw it and pit them against one another? I hope to find out soon.

I'm using "Writer's Market" as a guide on how to do, well, everything.
Jan. 14th, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on finishing!
Jan. 14th, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! Now comes the hard part...
Jan. 14th, 2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
50 bajillion others already piped in, but for seriously, gratz on finishing your book!

Now if I could only finish mine...
Jan. 14th, 2009 06:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!

And good luck with your own: you can dooo eet!
Jan. 14th, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
I totally forgot to say this earlier...but congrats on finishing! I can't wait to read the final product!
Jan. 14th, 2009 07:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! (I'm working on all the points you made. Trying to figure out where chapters start, etc. Thanks again!)
Jan. 14th, 2009 09:19 pm (UTC)
Actually, there are several agencies who accept equeries only. My agent is one of them. http://www.knightagency.net
Jan. 14th, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC)
Fantastic! Thanks so much! on to the white board they go!
Jan. 14th, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC)
Good luck with the querry letter.
Jan. 14th, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Jan. 14th, 2009 10:35 pm (UTC)
Number every page, put your name on every page (convention is usually top right) and double space everything. Yes, it'll make it longer, but pubs generally will read beyond the first sentence if it's double spaced. Also I repeat my earlier offer of editor if you need it. :)
Jan. 14th, 2009 10:45 pm (UTC)
I read that it needs to be in the top right as well, glad to know I didn't screw that up! (Rewriting the ToC due to new formatting was a pain in the neck!)

Double space everything, you mean

paragraphs like this?


Or even with

sentences that


I just have
single space like this. SO MANY RULES!!
Jan. 14th, 2009 11:28 pm (UTC)
Yup, just like that. You're using Word, I'm guessing? You should be able to do the entire doc through the spacing toggle, just select all then change to double spacing. So then it would look like this:

I repeat self to show what I mean hahahaha. (In italics).

Yup, just like that. You're using Word, I'm guessing? You should be able

to do the entire doc through the spacing toggle, just select all then

change to double spacing. So then it would look like this:

I repeat self to show what I mean hahahaha.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 14th, 2009 10:58 pm (UTC)
should be there?
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 15th, 2009 01:54 am (UTC)
Book: Good luck! I've got my fingers crossed for you!

Wine: "wine last night that tasted like apple juice with a dirty sock soaking in it"

Ironically, the one example I've ever heard of where someone made wine with apple (and grape) juice using a dirty sock as the yeast starter? Apparently turned out pretty well, given that it was 'matured' for 2 weeks in a tied-off garbage bag. It was an experiment in creating prison hooch.
Jan. 15th, 2009 05:33 am (UTC)
Congratulations! It's an amazing feeling isn't it? One thing that may or may not be of use - I saw in an earlier comment that you're using Works but thought it might also do this too and if so it can save a lot of time so...

In Word you can automatically generate a Table of Contents very easily *if* you use styles for headers. For example, if you use the Style "Heading 1" for each chapter heading, "Heading 2" for subheadings within the chapter and so on then you can simply use the Insert menu to insert an automatically generated ToC, complete with page numbers that automatically adjust if your pagination changes! This can be really critical because it is massively annoying if you have to keep going back and adjusting page numbers as you edit the manuscript (or change from single to double spacing).

Now, if you're like me, you may look at the style that Word uses by default for "Heading 1" and say no way! But don't forget that you can edit styles to suit your particular look and feel and still retain the auto generation ability.

Ok.. well since, as I said, you mentioned earlier that you were using Works I'll leave it there. If it turns out that Works will do this too and you're interested then there are a few tricks I can also mention that let you make the ToC more customised.
Jan. 15th, 2009 01:00 pm (UTC)
You are so thoughtful!! You know, I spent a good two hours yesterday, tearing at my hair because Works doesn't have that feature. So irritating! My husband gets back from his trip tonight, however, and has full Word on his, so I'm just going to move the file there and do all the formatting that needs doing.

I really appreciate all the thoughtful and supportive comments, thank you!
Jan. 15th, 2009 01:44 pm (UTC)
No problems! *g*

If you're going to have access to Word then I'll pass on draconin's tip #54C... ::drum roll maestro::

My problem with the ToC creation facility using styles was that it only creates an entry in the ToC when there is a heading in the text (obviously). Unfortunately, this means that to get a really comprehensive ToC (which I wanted, since I wasn't using an index for that particular book) you need *heaps* of headings and that makes the text look very strange. You end up with chapters that look as if they have more headings than text!

The solution is that you use Header levels 1 and 2 for the legitimate headings that you want visible to the reader and then you change the style on the level 3 header so that the text is white on white. This makes them invisible to the reader (and when printed) but they still get picked up and incorporated into the ToC. When printed they just appear to be an empty line between paragraphs. Of course, in the ToC creation dialog box you have to tell it to go down to level 3 since the default is (I think) only levels 1 and 2 but that's easy to do.

Now this may not be needed for your book. Most of mine have been technical manuals or mathematics texts and that's a different style to yours. Perhaps yours only really needs the moderate ToC produced by using level 1 & 2 headers in the normal way? Ooh, plus, I should make sure I mention that I'm using the old Office 2003 not the most recent release. The most recent release changed a *lot* of things and may behave differently to what I've described.

Finally, take a tip from an old hand (waves zimmer frame). Assuming that your book is accepted by a publisher you're going to almost certainly be doing a lot of editing. One mistake I made at first was to keep editing just one file, making change after cumulative change. DON'T! Each day you work on it (or at least any time you make a significant change) make a new copy of it and work on the copy. Then the next day, copy the the new version etc (obviously you have to systematically date them). You end up with fifty or sixty versions but the advantages are a) if something goes wrong you lose only the latest version (Word is NOT stable!!) and b) if you change something and then discover that you liked the old version better then you still have the old one in an earlier file.
Jan. 15th, 2009 09:33 am (UTC)
Sock wine
Perhaps the good folks at Evolution have taken a look at Steve, Don't Eat It (http://www.thesneeze.com/mt-archives/000373.php)?
Jan. 15th, 2009 01:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Sock wine
Hahahahaha - there's also a recipe involving brake fluid and a loaf of bread. Mmmmm. There's a name for toilet wine, I just can't think of it right now, augh!
( 42 comments — Leave a comment )


Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

Time Wot It Is

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