Search results for "proposals"

Book Proposals: Due Date

There is an important question that needs to be answered in your book proposal in the “Manuscript Status” section. When will your manuscript be ready? This information is important whether you are writing fiction or non-fiction. When Will Your Book be Done? Fiction: If you are a first time novelist, …

Read More

Book Proposals: Word Count

There is an important question that needs to be answered in your book proposal in the “Manuscript Status” section. What is the length of your book? This information is important whether you are writing fiction or non-fiction. How Long is Your Book? Think carefully before you declare a word count …

Read More

Books are Sold with Proposals

If you think about it, the first step leading to the eventual sale of any book begins with grabbing someone’s attention with a short description of the book content. The proposal or short description motivates the agent, publisher, book retailer or reader to take the next step, which is different …

Read More

Proposals: Comparing Your Writing to Icons

Awhile ago, I was reviewing a proverbial stack of nonfiction and fiction proposals. As I read them, I noticed something. And I saw that something again just recently as I read over proposals during a series of 15-minute meetings with conferees at a writers’ conference. What was that something? In their proposals, …

Read More

Proposals: Know Your Audience

I … Love … Coffee … Love going into coffee shops, love ordering the perfect brew, love the ambiance of Starbuck’s and Caribou coffee and Seattle’s Best and Coffee People, and you name it! When my hubby wants to do something special for me, he’ll let me drag him to …

Read More

Proposals: Creating a Strong Hook

Last week we tackled the proposal synopsis. The cool thing about creating that aspect of the proposal first is that you can use it as the springboard for your hook: those few lines at the beginning of your proposal that draw an editor/agent deeper. (One note here: many writers have …

Read More

Agents and Proposals: What to Expect

Last week I left you with a question: How do editors/agents get through all the proposals they receive. For me, as an editor and now as an agent, the answer was to hire someone to be my first-pass reader. In my case, this person is someone I’ve worked with now for over fifteen years. She knows me and my tastes well, and, as an avid reader and a skilled writer herself, she knows quality writing. She reviews my proposals and, based on a list of criteria I’ve given her, determines if said proposals are at a level that I should review them.

Here’s a hard truth about proposals: roughly 95% of the proposals my first-pass reader reviews, she rejects. And that percentage is fairly common for many editors and agents. When my reader determines the manuscript isn’t ready for me to review, she sends the writers something very similar to the noncommittal response most writers dislike. Honestly, I’m not that crazy about it when I receive it from editors! But I understand and accept it, because I know it isn’t the editors’ jobs to to critique the proposals I—or others, be they agents or writers–send them. Just as it isn’t my reader’s job to do so. What she’s supposed to do is determine whether or not the proposals meet my clear criteria.

So what, you ask, are my criteria?

Read More

Incoming Proposals

To your left is an actual picture of the pile of proposals our office has received since December 1, 2009. About 30 days worth of incoming mail…during a slow time of the year. The stack of books next to the pile include books sent for review (consideration) and recent publications that I want to look at.

That does not include the myriad of email submissions we get (many simply ignoring our guidelines regarding email submissions)…inquiries from those who use the contact form on our web site (many of those ignoring the request to “Please do not copy and paste your entire manuscript into this form.“)

Or the poor soul that failed to proofread their email before sending this sentence, “I would like to send you my quarry letter….”

Nor does it include those that do an Internet search and call us. Recently we got a call that went something like this:
Agency: This is the Steve Laube Agency…
Caller: What kind of agency are you?
Agency: We are a literary agency.
Caller: What does that mean?

Read More