Double-spaced text in Apple Mail?

I’ve started submitting my book to agents, and many refuse to accept attachments for sample chapters. They request you paste the chapter text into the body of the email. I know…

I’ve tried this in various ways and every time Mail turns my double-spaced (Courier) text into single-space lines. This includes exporting to RFT. And I see no setting in Mail to adjust the line spacing (and found lots of complaints about this online).

The only way it half-works is to export from Scri into Word, then copy and paste the text into mail - this saves the double spacing, but screws up the line wrapping so that the resulting text, when printed, ends up in a very small font.

Any thoughts?

Michael

My first point of investigation would be to determine what format your emails are sent in. I think the default is to use HTML, so everything you paste in is converted to that format. HTML may not be suited to double-spacing, but other formats might be better. I think there’s an RTF format setting for the Mail.app.

The only way I found to get it to work is more than a bit crazy:

Open a new email. Click on Stationary, then select the dummy text from it. Open another email, highlight all (no content) and paste the dummy text. Then copy a plain vanilla RFT version of my double-spaced text and paste it into the dummy text while matching style. Then I can delete the dummy text, and covert my pasted text back to Courier 12. The resulting email then prints out fine, double-spaced (after I have manually put back first line indentation).

Yiiiiiiikes!

TextSoap

unmarked.com/textsoap/

is a useful tool, though quite expensive – I got it on offer somehow (I don’t remember the details). PopClip is also useful when it comes to copy and paste operations:

pilotmoon.com/popclip/

There is a growing list of extensions to do all sorts of things.

Martin.

Convert your original files into PDF and those files will retain all original formatting.
That’s also the best way to get printing services to print exactly what you want.

I know publishers are often quite illiterate about text processing, but…
It strikes me that insisting on e-mail texts is very odd,
Given all that happens to files as they pass through mail systems.

Also, a free alternative to TextSoap is WordService from Devon Technologies.
See devontechnologies.com/download/products.html

Yes, PDFs would work. However many literary agents are hyper-paranoid about opening unsolicited attachments, fearing I suppose viruses from irate writers who have been rejected.

How about posting a copy of the chapters on Google Docs?
And then sending the agents a Share link?
Guaranteed virus-free.

Rejected writers should send agents certificates for meals
At Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar :wink:
tinyurl.com/a8oyvle

Good idea, but that’s not what the agents have requested.

I just tried pasting a double-spaced chapter into a GMail letter,
and it appears as single-spaced. It’s not that hard to read,
and the agents may prefer to see it in that compact format.
If you use Apple Mail’s RTF option, you can preserve a serif font
like Times New Roman or Georgian.

Many agents specifically request “double-spaced” lines as easier to read.

Courier is the standard font for manuscripts, the mono-spacing makes it easier to see typos and estimate page count.

If I knew how, it seems the best Mac-centric thing to do would be to create a Mail.app stationary that formats the text as requested, since that seems to work (I noticed a couple of the stationary options that looked double-spaced). Maybe someone with better google-fu can find one that someone made for similar purposes?

Are there maybe other email clients out there that would work? I’m thinking if gmail doesn’t work, then most web-based email clients won’t either, but it bears investigating if you think you’ll be doing much of this.

Yeah, the Mail.app stationary seems to have some serious mojo that can’t be replicated in the ways I’ve tried other than by hijacking it. I wonder what code those templates were written in…

It looks complicated, but doable if you know HTML…

gigaom.com/2007/10/31/how-to-cre … tationery/

Agents don’t want attachments from unknown quantities because they’re squirmy about viruses (and agencies and publishing firms often have strict bans on attachments from unknowns: edicts from paranoid IT operatives). Also, the attachments make handling inbox traffic very kludgy. A few chapters (or whatever they want–“they” being, here, both agents and acquisitions editors) as a paste-in will let them quickly read and either dismiss your submission with a few keystrokes or get back to you with a specific request for more, or for the whole thing, as an attachment.

In my experience, they (full disclosure: I’m one of “they”) don’t care whether this initial read is single- or double-spaced. If they read more than a paragraph or two, they’ll likely drag the text into something like TextEdit or Word for further reading, and will adjust the spacing and font size to suit their personal preferences.

There are digitally encumbered individuals still in the business who may squeak for an intern to Make My Screen double-space, and some firms have very specific formatting requirements, but for the most part the format ain’t the thing at all; it’s the content.

I don’t know HTML… I tried compiling double-space text in Scri into a web page, but it came out single spaced. I’m guessing this is because the double-spaced sample text in Apple’s email stationary is accomplished through some kind of line height code (rather than true double-spacing).

I can read the source code from this single spaced text in my browser – anyone know if there is an easy way to add a line height code to this and then insert it into an email? Am I chasing my shadow?

When I’ve submitted work to publishers and had to paste text into the body of the email, i’ve always been told not to worry too much about formatting. Whilst you can spend hours sorting out how your email software displays the text you have no control over how your receipient’s email programme will dispaly the text at the other end. In other words … You’re probably wasting your time formatting it too much!