Writing Books/virtual or literal?
Hello Ms. McCutcheon (Sandy?),
It would seem there is no doubt. Every book on "how to write a query letter" advises writers to give an agent or publisher "exactly what they ask for". There are, however "literal" truths and "virtual" (or "practical") truths--the difference tending to splay the meaning of "exactly".
Accordingly, when an agent asks for "the first fifty pages", this--literally--would invite the title page and all the prelims, to include such things as the Dedication and Acknowledgements--which seems such a waste. The virtual truth, on the other hand, infers that those same pages begin, perhaps, with the first page of Chapter 1 (or Preface or Intro.) Mine, by the way, is non-fiction, with a Preface and Intro.
Please can you advise, what does an agent normally regard, in this respect, as the "first page"--or would an agent think this a non-issue?
Sorry about the delay in replying but I have just arrived home after being overseas.
When an agent or publisher asks for the first fifty pages they are referring to the actual manuscript and not the prelims and so on. However I always include the title page but never anything else.
I hope that clarifies the issue - and good luck!