My Book Agent

A Literary Agency Getting Authors Published Well

Fiction Guidelines

Our Submissions Process

An author who approaches a literary agent is saying, "I am ready to go to market successfully." Authors who do not understand how agents and publishing finances work or what is needed in a proposal package or how to structure their query letter should do their homework first. My Book Agent does not provide free assistance in these matters.

My Book Agent uses a three-step process for its reviews:

  1. Use Submissions Button to submit your idea
  2. When you are invited, send us your submission proposal by reply email attachments (see, below)
  3. Be ready to submit your completed manuscript (see formatting, below)

The Proposal Package

Most book agents or literary agents want to see the following items:

  • A query letter that elicits a request to see a manuscript sample; this should be between 250-350 words
  • The first 50-pages (or 3 chapters) of story, double-spaced, and copy edited
  • A 1-3 page synopsis of the entire story that lifts up the author's writing style and piques the reader's interest
  • Assurance that the manuscript is completed and can be sent quickly should the agent want to see more

Query Letter Encouragement

Many fiction authors comment that it was harder to get an agent than a publishing agreement. The main reason is not surprising: literary agents are primary filters for the major and even mid-size publishing houses.

A second reason, although hidden, is nearly as important. Few model proposals circulate for fiction. And when one is suggested to an author, she or he usually remarks afterward that it offered little true help.
The reason for this lack of models, then, is that fiction proposals need to be custom-built.

Successful authors treat this nettlesome task as a fiction short-story or creative writing exercise.

Manuscript Formatting Instructions

  • Top and bottom margins set at 1 inch
  • Side margins set at 1.25 inches
  • Double-spaced throughout
  • Mark scene changes with a symbol (traditionally three asterisks) and with an extra double-space before and afterward
  • Times New Roman 12-point throughout
  • Use bold and italic, but avoid other text treatments (colors, extra-large type, etc.)


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