Full Manuscript Request: Packaging. Packaging. Packaging.

Post by L.O. Nobi

One of the most exciting emails a writer can get is a manuscript request! Whoop! It doesn’t matter if it’s a partial manuscript request (the first fifty pages), or a full manuscript request (*screams*). Once you get that email from an agent that starts off reading like a rejection but ends with a sentence of how they enjoyed reading your query and would like to see more, you’ll probably fly off the roof.

You’ll feel inclined to share on Twitter because it’s no small feat! Other writers would celebrate with you because they know just how that material request can feel like an oasis in a desert of rejections!

Once you’ve exhausted yourself from moonwalking the full length of your street, however, it’s time to sit down, grab your laptop and package your manuscript to be sent to the interested agent. Yes, another round of packaging different from the query package. Surprised? Understandable. Before I got my full manuscript requests, I thought it simply meant following up an existing email thread with the requested material attached. I quickly learned though that every single aspect on this publication journey is a process. And to appear professional and well-informed, it’s advisable to follow the processes.

So here are steps on how to package your manuscript prettily before sending it off to an agent!

  • On the very first page include your full name and manuscript title in a LARGE, center font. You can go as big as a 30-point font.
  • At the bottom of this same page, include your contact information in a smaller but still distinguishable point font. ‘Why? It’s already in my query letter’. Well, if the agent is blown away by your full manuscript they can just scroll right up and easily contact you!
  • Use a clear font. While most people suggest Times New Roman, I find Georgia much more convenient for my eyes. Choose what works for you, but ensure it’s a standard font!
  • Send the document in a format that’s generally accessible. Usually, that’s the .doc format.
  • Read the agency’s submissions guidelines (very key) to determine whether the agent wants your query letter attached to the requested material.
  • Some agents request synopses along with partial/full manuscripts so look out for that!
  • Lastly, double check and make sure everything is in order before hitting send. While you might be able to resend the material if there’s something amiss in the first one (lots of typos, an unnecessary subplot, missing chapters, etc.), it’s best to make sure your initial MS is submission ready before hitting the button.

Receiving a manuscript request can be very exciting but there’s no rush at all. I took almost two weeks to begin forwarding my full/partial manuscript to agents. So you have an allowance of weeks to submit! Many agents would ask you to take all the time you need to make sure your manuscript is in good shape to give your book the best chance possible. So take a breath, follow the steps, double check, and then send when you feel confident about your package.

Do you have additional tips for writers preparing to send in requested material?


L.O. Nobi is an avid writer, one of her prominent projects DESTITUTES AND FIENDS on submissions to editors. She’s a lover of words, Disney, and represented by her agent. You can find her tweeting here, or visit her personal blog here.

Published by Lucia’s Fiction

Novelist and Blogger

5 thoughts on “Full Manuscript Request: Packaging. Packaging. Packaging.

  1. Awesome article, Lucia! It’s true that every single part of the steps is a process. There’s literally not any part where you just toss the required material forward and say “here, take.” Hehe

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  2. This was very informative. Although the querying trenches is very perilous now, I hope it smoothens out soon so I can get material requests and use this guide!

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  3. I love the humor on this post, haha. Yes getting a full request is something to celebrate. I did so only recently ☺️

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  4. Double-checking everything is so important before sending off anything of any prominence! Love that you usually get the time you need to go over everything to satisfaction. 🙂

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