A Literary Agency Getting Authors Published Well
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:
- Use Submissions Button to submit your idea
- When you are invited, send us your submission proposal by reply email attachments (see, below)
- Be ready to submit your partial (or completed) manuscript in the following format (see, below)
- 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 narrative outline of the entire book including the chapter titles and a paragraph (or two) detailing what is being discussed in that chapter–what argument is being advance, time period considered, steps in a process being detailed
- Assurance that the manuscript is completed and can be sent quickly should the agent want to see more
- 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.)
The Proposal Package
Most book agents or literary agents want to see the following items:
Query Letter Encouragement
Many non-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. Agents expect the author’s proposal package to contain the inspiration and information that publishers’ editors require. Many non-fiction model proposals circulate; most books on writing a query letter focus on non-fiction examples.
Successful authors treat this nettlesome task as a fiction short-story or creative writing exercise.