First Three means FIRST THREE!

This may be a really stupid question, but when a publisher or agent asks for three chapters, do they mean the first three chapters? Or three random chapters? If my book has a prologue, is that considered the first chapter? Or do I send the prologue plus three chapters?

You send the first three chapters. Always. [Unless specifically instructed otherwise by the agent or publisher.]

If you have a prologue and it’s absolutely critical to understanding what is happening in the first three chapters, then call it chapter 1 and send the next two chapters (renumbered as 2 and 3). Most of the time, however, you do not send the prologue.

This is only a stupid question if you ask me after you’ve sent in three random chapters.

5 thoughts on “First Three means FIRST THREE!”

  1. Good advice and I loved your last line, "This is only a stupid question if you ask me after you've sent in three random chapters."


    Thanks for all your wonderful help out here!

  2. DB told me I could send any three chapters of my choice when I submitted. Sometimes, it's good to clarify.

  3. Susan, I clarified. Sometimes it depends on the type of book you're writing. But, sending the first three will never hurt you.

  4. Sorry, LDSPusblisher, I guess *I* should clarify. I didn't mean you, I meant the person submitting. If in doubt, they should ask the agent or acquisitions editor. Though I guess you don't want to be a pest either.

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