Now that I have a Kindle I use it to read all of my partials and full manuscripts. This has completely changed my life because I can read for work anywhere without carrying around manuscript pages. I just e-mail the manuscripts to my dedicated Kindle e-mail address, they download wirelessly whenever I flip the switch on the Kindle, and voila, I can work anytime, anywhere!
But here’s the thing: I like to have a brief introduction to the manuscript before I start reading to refresh my memory, so I don’t, you know, mistake a YA comedy for a paranormal thriller for the first 10 pages because I misremembered the titles. (“Um… are these kids going to get eaten by a zombie any time soon??”).
So I came up with a solution: I ask everyone who sends me a partial to paste their query in the first page of their manuscript. Ah ha! That way I can refresh my memory by reading the query and then move on to the manuscript.
Here’s the standard e-mail I send:
“Thank you for your recent note. Would you mind sending me the first 30 pages in a Word attachment? Please paste your below e-mail in the first page of the Word document. I look forward to getting to know your work.”
This only works about 75% of the time. The other 25% of the time people either send their query as a separate document or just re-paste it in the body of the e-mail instead of the manuscript or just don’t include the query entirely. This takes time, and it bothers my efficiency-obsessed self to take up extra time.
First off, I suppose I should ask: is a 25% error rate to be expected? Or is there a problem with my partial request e-mail?
I think it might be a combo, but I’m at a loss at how to rephrase it to make it clearer. So. Do you have any suggestions on the e-mail? Any technical writers who want to take a stab at it? Is it possible to reach a consensus on what this e-mail should be?
Thank you for your help!