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Does anyone else have trouble with email submissions reformatting themselves?  I'm using gmail, which is my primary email account. I realized that a submission I sent to an agent several weeks ago ended up being oddly formatted (the manuscript portion was in a significantly smaller font than the cover letter portion, with one random sentence appearing larger). I just emailed a PB to a publishing house, and after checking and re-checking before I sent it (including sending it to myself first to make sure it was fine), I can see that once again the manuscript portion is in a smaller font. It's readable, but noticeably smaller.

I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but it probably looks like I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm worried that no one will take me seriously because of my (apparently) possessed email.

I tried saving it into Notepad first, but after copying/pasting into Gmail I was having trouble fixing it to make it look right. So I did the copy/paste right from Word into Gmail, checked and double checked, and the fonts matched.

So frustrated right now. How seriously do they take things like this?
#1 - September 05, 2018, 11:22 AM

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Ugh. I hate it too. Sometimes, even when it's just in rich-text it'll look wonky in the email when I paste it. I manually fix things to make it less annoying at the other end. I'm sure industry people know this and give some latitude. It's the story that counts, even if the spacing isn't just right.
#2 - September 05, 2018, 11:44 AM
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I hope so too!  Makes me want to pick ones that take snail mail from now on, but I'm not sure trusting the post office is a better choice!
#3 - September 05, 2018, 11:54 AM

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Hi Gbug,

I've had the same issue!

In Gmail there's an option to remove formatting from all of your text: simply highlight the text in your email, go to the dropdown arrow on the toolbar at the bottom of the email window, then hit the icon that looks like a T with a diagonal line through it. This should strip out any extra formatting that your word processor has added. That said, it will also remove things like italics and so on, so you might need to manually add those back in. Hopefully that helps!

As Vijaya says, I'm sure that publishers are used to the formatting quirks associated with various email clients, so I wouldn't be overly worried if things are slightly wonky. :)
#4 - September 05, 2018, 11:55 AM
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Not only are publishers used to this but how things look to them depends in part on what their mailers do. Strip out all formatting as best you can by saving it in Notepad in plain text before copying and pasting and then fix it as best you can in your mailer. That's all you can do.
#5 - September 05, 2018, 08:02 PM
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I hate it!
I did get docked points in a contest once when it changed my font from Times New Roman to Ariel. But I do think publishers are aware of the problem.
#6 - September 05, 2018, 09:38 PM

I do hope they are patient and understanding. This is why I really like Submittable, since it lets you attach a document!!! 

The next time I submit something, I might even just type it into the body of the email, because it'll otherwise stress me out too much. So far I have only submitted shorter pieces--poems and PB manuscripts that are on the shorter side. Obviously that won't work with a larger piece.
#7 - September 06, 2018, 06:54 AM


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