You enter a contest.
You are asked to send your novel as an attachment.
What do you call it?
Here's the right answer: Title by Author
For those of you without enough coffee yet that means: (your book's) TITLE by (your name cause you are the) AUTHOR.
Here's a short list of some of my favorite things you sent:
For Janet Reid.doc
Pay It Forward Contest Entry.doc (cause yanno, there's only one entry--yours, right?)
Author and Novel dotdoc.doc (seriously?)
Author/novel Draft 3 (cause you wanted me to know it's not the first draft?)
Author/novel and date you finished it/date of draft
In other words a lot of you call this thing something that helps YOU figure out which version, or when you finished or where it's going. That is looking at this from the wrong perspective. Think about it from the perspective of the person GETTING the manuscript: your name, your title are the only things that will distinguish this from the 400+ entries we're organizing (yea there's a reason I spent 16 hours assigning numbers and this is it).
Next time I do this, I swear the list of instructions is going to be a mile long but it never crossed my mind that every single person sending a ms would get it wrong.
(and for those of you who are gnawing your fingernails with worry, don't. No matter what you call the thing, we're reading it. And too many of you are really REALLY good writers.)