from the mixed-up files of Agent Manners

Dear Agent Manners,

When sending a full MS, or indeed, anything that’s too large for a tidy 9X12 inch or 10X13 inch clasp envelope, what is the preferred enveloping method? Should we be scavenging appropriate sized boxes, or would a Jiffy envelope do? Help me, Agent Manners, you’re my only hope.


You’d Never Know My Dayjob Included Being the Shipping Manager, Would You? in Michigan


Dear You’d Never Know:

Agent Manners advises this: Pack the manuscript in such a way that it survives transit in roughly the same quality as when it first departs your desk. And remember page numbers on the off-chance the packaging fails and the post office repacks it in one of those stamped plastic envelopes (not that Agent Manners has ever received an unpaginated manuscript the postal service mixed up…. no….) The priority boxes, free for the taking at the post office, or a sufficiently sized jiffy envelope, and a few rubberbands should do the trick.

3 responses to “from the mixed-up files of Agent Manners

  1. One of my acquaintances takes his mss to someplace like kinkos and has the pages shrink-wrapped before putting them in the envelope. That way there’s little danger of damaged or out-of order pages even after it arrives and is added to the agent’s to-read pile.
    Would you recommend this tactic, or would it annoy?

  2. Office Depot sells manuscript boxes (they’re often out, so be sure to ask at the printing counter). They’re plain white, exactly the right size, and open like a donut box, so agent or editor can read page one, lay it facedown on the lid, and proceed to page two.

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