Your manuscript file name may seem inconsequential, but it’s an important element of submission etiquette. Whenever you send your manuscript to an agent, you should be super aware of what the file name is. That seems like common sense but you’d be surprised.
Manuscript File Name Do’s
When I scroll down to the bottom of a query e-mail, I expect to see a mundane manuscript file name, like:
Something nice and neutral.
Manuscript File Name Don’ts
What I don’t really want to see is:
Or, worse yet:
Keep your manuscript file name really simple, really professional. If you track your revisions with the document title, make sure to take the ten extra seconds and “Save As” a copy of your document with a nice, generic title.
In acting class, my teachers always said: “The audition doesn’t start when you begin your monologue. From the second you enter the building to the moment you leave, you’re auditioning.”
So watch the message you send with your manuscript file names. The ones about “first draft” or “revision 37” or “overhaul” can sometimes make me either dread what I’m going to find when I open the document or make me wonder what’s wrong with it. All those numbers and markers are part of your process… keep them behind the scenes.
Hire me to do a manuscript critique and I’ll guide you towards making a positive first impression when you’re ready to submit to agents.
One Reply to “Manuscript File Name Mishaps”
This is hilarious. I hope it’s the sort of advice I will never need, but you never know!