Sample Material: do’s and don’t’s

When asked to send sample material follow these guidelines:

– Most obviously, send your manuscript in the file format that is asked of you. Often times authors send in material in pdf or rtf when we specifically ask for doc or it is password protected. This is a simple task that allows the agent to smoothly open the file and convert to their e-reader without a hassle.

If you don’t have sample material to send: honestly respond to the email with your situation. However, please do not query if you have not finished your manuscript.

If your first three chapters (fiction) are in combination less than 30 pages: please send your first 50 pages instead. 12 pages are not enough sample material to assess the quality of your work. Take initiative.


Don’t send the manuscript the very second you receive the email asking for material. Read it over again, read it aloud, read it to a partner. You only have one shot to make a first impression.

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