Sunday, September 10, 2006

FAQ #3: Do you prefer manuscripts loose-leaf, stapled, or paper-clipped?

(asked yesterday over e-mail by Nilina Mason-Campbell, and answered so quickly because it's easy for once)

Picture book manuscripts should be paper-clipped. Novels should come loose-leaf, as hopefully I'll want to copy it to share it with other people; but if the manuscript arrives in a box or a folder, it stands a good chance of being read more quickly, as 1) it will stand out on my manuscript rack and 2) because it's more easily transportable, I can grab it on my way out of the office to read on the subway or at home. (It will also likely be returned to you in better condition if it comes in a box or folder -- I'm physically hard on manuscripts, I'm afraid.)


  1. Thanks for yet another question answered!

    One ponderable that my SCBWI Illustrators group has been kicking around is, "If and writer/illustrator has a picture book (complete with tight pictures) do they submit to the editor or the art director?"

    We were leaning toward the editor.



  2. Definitely the editor. The art director might get excited about the artist, but the editor is the one who would actually acquire the book. (The art director could only pass it on to an editor.)

  3. Actually, I thought about this more, and if there's an art director with whom you know you have a connection -- s/he likes your work and has invited you to send things -- then it's fine to send the dummy directly to them, and trust that they'll know the editor with whom it should be shared. But if you're just sending a dummy cold, then I suggest going for an editor first.

  4. ...and if it comes in a box and with chocolates?