Wednesday, November 20, 2013

E-mail submissions

by Kim Van Sickler

So I've started floating e-mail submissions into Agentland again. And I feel like I'm wasting precious time reformatting my text.

It's not that it's all that time-consuming per submittal, but it's wasted time because I have to reformat for every submittal, so it adds up.

And it's tedious.

Does anyone else have issues with their e-mail wreaking havoc on the text you cut and paste into the e-mail body?

I use Gmail. Maybe that's the problem. But the problems are different depending on which computer I use. That really confuses me. When I cut and paste text into the body of my e-mail from my desktop, all of my italicized words return to normal type and I lose my double-spacing. Used to be I could eliminate formatting problems by sending from my laptop. But just recently, whenever I paste into Gmail on my laptop, I've encountered a new wrinkle. The text automatically switches to Very Large and I have to highlight and switch the text size, but the glitch has already wreaked havoc with my contact information in the upper left corner of my query letter, due to my phone number bleeding onto the next line. I have to play around with getting my contact information to line up again. I manipulate it until it looks how it should, except that I know I probably didn't get it right for the recipient. (I know because once I reformatted this way and sent the e-mail to me and my phone number was on the middle of the page.) I'm pretty sure that since nothing's changed in how I handle this bug that I haven't fixed my problem. What I see on my screen isn't really what's happened to my text.
Very large print on my laptop throws my phone number on to the next line, and my realigning attempts may not be working.

My desktop eliminates all of my double spacing and italics.
But I don't know what else to do to ensure it stays put. So I'm pretty sure I'm sending out unaligned query letters from my laptop.

How do I handle this dilemna? If I'm allowed to send sample pages as an attachment, I send from my desktop and re-italicize everything. If sample pages have to be stuck in the body of the e-mail I send from my laptop since that is the only way I can maintain my double-spacing, and hope the recipient doesn't notice the unaligned phone number in the query.

I don't know what else to do. Any suggestions?

Do you have any issues with your e-mail formatting?


  1. Congrats on querying. Check out Casey's post on e-querying. It's on the right sidebar of our blog. She recommends using Notepad or something similar to strip out all the problems with the query and then paste it into your e-mail. I'll have to do that too as I have g-mail. Hope this helps.

    1. Excellent! I will check it out and definitely give her suggestion a try! Thanks, Natalie!

  2. Yes, I know exactly what you mean. I've queried using yahoo and sent review requests using gmail, and both refuse to accept doc coding. I've had to do what Natalie say, put the letter in notepad, transfer it, and then use the email's format bar to re-format. Yahoo was the worst. You can highlight the whole thing, hit the font and size but only one para or maybe half the letter will change! And sometimes, the text will change colors! Ack!

    So use notepad, paste into gmail, and re-format using their format bar. There's nothing you can do about the double spacing, but rest assured that agents are getting funky stuff from ALL of us. :P

    Good luck!

  3. Un-italicizing my words ALWAYS seems to happen.

  4. Yes! I have formatting issues when sending out queries. It takes so long to get everything set up, send test emails to myself, fix, try again, etc. Julst like Lexa, sometimes I get the colors changing. I've tried the notebook thing but didn't notice much improvement. I'll have to give it another try with all this great advice.

    Good luck with the querying!

  5. Yes yes yes!!! I finally figured out how to get it to work on my email provider. It's a major pain in the butt. I have to go back and add spaces between paragraphs. Agents don't realize the work we go through to send queries and sample pages.

  6. It's comforting to know I'm not alone. I wondered sometimes if I was a blockhead who was doing something wrong...

  7. Yeah, I've had glitches. Most of the time, the font face/size changes and the spacing becomes triple. Words may or may not lose their italics.

  8. What I find interesting is the wide variety of changes that occur. Makes it more difficult to find a fix, but maybe makes sense because people are using different e-mails, software, and computers. Just one more challenge to what we do. :-)

  9. I haven't had too much trouble with Yahoo! mail. Sometimes, however, I send the email to myself first, just to make sure nothing got messed up when pasting from Word. It's the only way I could be sure.

  10. Yes, I have these issues too. It's so annoying. After I think I've got it fixed, I usually send an email to myself just to make sure.