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Genres & Age Categories => Picture Books (PB) => Topic started by: jennifer-caritas on March 30, 2014, 03:18 PM

Title: double spacing in email?
Post by: jennifer-caritas on March 30, 2014, 03:18 PM
This may be a dumb question.

If an agent requests that a ms be included in the body of an email, do you simply include it single spaced, or do you go through line by line and press return twice to simulate double spacing? When I cut and paste text into my email, it automatically changes it to single spacing. I'm not sure if that's what agents expect to see, or if other email programs allow double spacing?
Title: Re: double spacing in email?
Post by: Marcia on March 31, 2014, 07:48 AM
A lot of formatting gets lost going from Word to email. If it's only a small portion of your manuscript or picture book length, I would probably single space it with a double space between paragraphs, but better to check with the agent.
Title: Re: double spacing in email?
Post by: Stacy on March 31, 2014, 08:01 AM
Here's what I've been doing for email subs with the manuscript in the body of the email.


I paste the text from Word into Notepad and all formatting like bold, italics, double spacing, etc. are automatically removed. Then I double space between paragraphs, but not lines. I usually delete paragraph indents and leave them left-aligned. Then I copy and paste it into my email. So far this has worked for me, but my submissions have been to magazines not to agents.



Good luck with your submission! :flowers2
Title: Re: double spacing in email?
Post by: Mike Jung on March 31, 2014, 08:03 AM
I'm not a PB author so take this with a grain of salt, but I agree with Marcia and Stacy - manually inserting double line breaks like this means you're turning every line into a paragraph, and in an email it'll almost certainly read that way. IMHO that'll decrease the readability of your manuscript. Agents understand the formatting limitations of email, so I really doubt the single spacing between lines is an issue - double spacing between paragraphs seems smart, though.
Title: Re: double spacing in email?
Post by: ButterflyGirl on March 31, 2014, 08:30 AM
If the manuscript itself is formatted as double spaced, it should copy that way, too. It might be that you are spacing manually by hitting the return key to create double spaces. The best way is to set up your page as double spaced, or highlight the whole manuscript and select double space. Your personal info should be single spaced, but the text of the picture book is double spaced. You will find the spacing selection in your tool bar, near "center/align left/align right."

My critique partners and I usually paste our work into an email to send to each other, and theirs always come to me looking double spaced, which is how we submit to agents when we query.
 :)
Title: Re: double spacing in email?
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on March 31, 2014, 09:05 AM
I always copy to Notepad and then paste into my e-mail. How the e-mail looks to the recipient depends on their mail client and how they read it. I manually remove Word's smart quotes, etc. I may also put back italics if they impact readability. Readability is key. I want my work to look as clean as possible on whatever reader they use.

Agents and editors understand that formatting can be lost or shifted during the e-mailing process. Keepingthat in mind saves me a lot of stress.
Title: Re: double spacing in email?
Post by: Dionna on March 31, 2014, 09:10 AM
When you paste into an email, there is usually two options. Paste as plain text or Paste. If you just use Paste it should keep your formatting. Sometimes, though, the auto corrects in the original document look like alien script once you send it. So you may want to send a copy to yourself first to see how it formats on the other end.

Also, you can copy your text first in a Word document, then turn off the auto formatting, replacing apostrophes, quotation marks, double dashes w/ standard and not smart formats. Also, make sure you select No Spacing, and double space from the paragraph format tab. All this I have discovered so as not to have to go in and manually double space the email sample.
Title: Re: double spacing in email?
Post by: jennifer-caritas on March 31, 2014, 06:01 PM
Thanks, everyone! I'm pretty sure I don't have the ability to Paste from Word vs. Paste in my email (but I'm familiar with that from editing websites), but I do typically paste into TextEdit first if I'm concerned about formatting (I'm on a Mac). I put back italics and such within the email, but I'm glad to hear I don't need to worry about adding back the extra spacing. Thanks!
Title: Re: double spacing in email?
Post by: Dionna on April 01, 2014, 05:36 AM
Jennifer, I am pretty sure your sample needs to be double-spaced. I have heard that many agents & editors will read sample pages on their electronic devices, and the clutter to the eyes of single spacing can be an annoyance. So I would definitely figure out how to duble-space your sample pages in the email. Besides, once you've done it, it is saved in your sent email, and can be copied from there.

Happy Writing!
Title: Re: double spacing in email?
Post by: jennifer-caritas on April 01, 2014, 11:41 AM
I've looked all over the web for the answer to how to do this, and while I've found numerous threads about it, no one has figured it out -- Mac Mail just will not double space. The consensus on QueryTracker seems to be that it's not necessary -- adding space between paragraphs is enough. I'm going to hope that this is okay and agents are used to seeing single spacing when the ms is in the body of the email.
Title: Re: double spacing in email?
Post by: Barbara Etlin on April 01, 2014, 11:57 AM
I've done it single-spaced, with a space between paragraphs, and never had any complaints. Yes, agents are used to seeing this.
Title: Re: double spacing in email?
Post by: Dionna on April 01, 2014, 05:17 PM
Good to know.