Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Q & A 80 Do I have to follow directions?
When an agent merely asks for queries, is it acceptable to also send the first 5 pages? I have read conflicting opinions. Yes, it is fine as well as expected to send a few pages; and, no, only send EXACTLY what they ask for.
The idea to toss in the first five pages probably sprang from the assumption that the query letter was sure to suck, and thus a writing sample was the only hope. However, now that you have Evil Editor in your corner, your query letter is surely brilliant, so you have no incentive to send anything not requested.
In my experience, a writing sample is the last thing you want anyone to see, anyway. It's a sure deal breaker. Evil Editor's fifth rule of submission: Never let an agent or editor see the quality of your writing before the contract is signed.