I have an editorially focused literary agency which I founded in 2008. I have worked in a wide range of both fiction and non-fiction genres. I work closely with my authors in identifying the most promising themes for their project and in composing and editing book proposals that highlight those themes and anticipate the questions and concerns an acquisition editor will be asking Finally, I make sure the proposal has that something extra to ensure the editor will fall in love with the idea. With fiction, I work with the author analyzing the style, structure, and story of their novel. I do a complete and detailed line edit of the text before sending the book out. When we receive an offer, I continue working with the author negotiating the contract, solving problems that develop in the pre-publication period, and in marketing the book after publication.
I am offering the following services to writers who are not represented by my agency.
Book publishing consulting and strategic planning for fiction and non-fiction authors. I offer support and guidance in directing you along the path to publication. We will discuss whether and when your book is ready for submission to an agent or publisher, strategies for researching and identifying the right agent, how to build an author platform, and analyzing alternative publishing options, such as self-publishing and hybrid publishing.
Book Proposals. In order to sell your non-fiction book, you will need a book proposal. A book proposal is a business plan for your book that will convince the acquisition editor that the book is important, that you are an authority on the subject, and – most importantly – that it will have robust sales. I will consult with you and help define the subject of the book, identify the most compelling themes and sales points, structure the proposal to present a robust argument for publication, edit the draft proposal, and if necessary, rewrite it. Read my book on writing non-fiction book proposals. It’s the best starting point.
Query Letters. I receive 10-20 query letters a day. Most of them are badly written. Usually, they are too long. Sometimes too short. Sometimes too grandiose. Sometimes too modest. Remember that an agent probably will spend about 45 seconds looking at your query, so every word has to count. I will consult with you on how to write a polished, convincing, well-crafted query letter and, if necessary, I will re-write it. Please look at my blog post: "The Best Query Letter Ever Written."
First Pages. Agents and editors can usually tell whether they like a project after reading 10 pages. Sometimes after reading 1 page. When we judge fiction and creative non-fiction, it’s usually 80% about the style and 20% about the story. I will evaluate your first 10-30 pages and let you know whether I think the book is ready for submission or whether it needs more work. I will identify the elements that are working and those that are not.
Book Contract Consulting. Most book contracts are asymmetrical. They are written by publishers to protect publishers. Most authors don’t understand the book contract and don’t really know the pitfalls that are lurking. Small press contracts are particularly problematic. I will read and evaluate your book contract and try to identify potential problems and roadside bombs. I will also advise you on negotiating deal points.
Lectures, presentations, and workshops. I have attended dozens of writers conferences and conducted workshops all over the country. Some of the subjects I have presented are: writing book proposals, query letter workshops, finding and working with an agent, evaluating the first page, and steps to getting your book published.
Larger projects. I am available for larger full manuscript editing projects including developmental and line editing.
I charge $100 per hour for consultations. For larger full manuscript editorial projects, I will give you an estimate in advance.