Manuscript Request Quandary: Include Photos?

The short answer is NO. For starters, photos make the file too large to send. So then you’re faced with a dilemma of how to send the manuscript to the requesting editor. Many authors send a Dropbox link, which forces me to go retrieve it.

I don’t know, maybe I’m just an old crankie pants, but there’s something presumptive about my asking to read someone’s manuscript – someone who queried me – and being invited to go get it. I know I’d be more receptive if the author told me of their dilemma about the photos and ask how best to send the file. This gives me the opportunity to inform them editors don’t care about photos at this point because they don’t sell the story. The words do. Unless, of course, it’s a coffee table book.

At this point of the process, I don’t care about the photos, so they’re nothing but in the way, and I always just skip through them. First thing I have to ascertain is whether the manuscript is marketable. It’s a good idea to state in your query letter that photos are available, but don’t send them for a manuscript request because I won’t bother, and most other editors won’t either. Instead, I’ll write you back and instruct you to please remove the photos and re-send as a Word attachment.

Every editor has their method of how they want files to be sent, so if they don’t tell you how they want you to send your files, ask. For example, I always include a line about “At your convenience, please send me your manuscript and book proposal as a Word attachment.”

The idea is to make things easy for the person who has requested to read your brilliant tomes. So, great words, yes. Photos, no.

 

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