Temporarily closed to queries/submissions
It All Starts With A Query
You have written a most wonderful book that you are certain will top the New York Times Best Seller list within weeks of publication. Now all you have to do is find someone to publish it for you.
Regardless of your status -- published author or new writer in search of a dream -- you need to get the attention of a publisher. You can do some research to find out which publisher accepts what genre and perhaps even the name of an editor who handles those books. Why not just send your query direct to the publisher and cut out the agent?
The only answer is that you can, and some authors have success doing just that. A lot of people do it -- and a lot of rejection letters are written. Publishers just don't have the staff to review all of the queries that are received every day.
But, it does all start with the query and we encourage you to review the material located here as you prepare your query to send to us or any other agent.
Generally, one of two outcomes can be anticipated:
* Your query will not quite hit the mark and will be rejected. For us, 90% of all queries we receive are rejected either for not following instructions, not paying attention or because the market for that particular genre is not presently active--or perhaps the writing is not quite polished to a high sheen.
* Your query will capture the reviewer who will see some potential in the subject, the style and the author.
In the first case, understand that the rejection is a rejection of your work, not of you.
You've Gotten Our Attention
If your query intrigues us, we will request either sample chapters or your entire manuscript, as well as a synopsis. After a thorough review, this phase has three distinct outcomes:
* On taking a further look at the work we may determine that we can't market the work successfully. We thank you for your interest and wish you the best in seeking representation elsewhere.
* A review indicates that the genre is one that is currently open, the story line is solid and worthy, but the writing is not up to what we think you should be capable of doing. In nearly every such case we get a note back telling us that the author knew it wasn't quite ready but was anxious to get it published. There are no shortcuts.
* We are excited by what we have read and are aware that certain publishers are in the market for something like this.
In the first instance we will probably bring our involvement with your project to an end. We could well be wrong and would hope that you continue to refine your book and seek other representation. Few things are so subjective and we can make mistakes.
Under the second outcome we may well ask you to rework the concept or reconsider the story line and get back to us with an improved product. In this case, please query again but mention that we have seen it before in a less perfected form.
If the acquisitions editor likes the work, it will then be reviewed by our associate agents. Finally, with Rebecca’s recommendation, a senior agent will then offer you either a rejection or an offer of representation. Please know that rejection can be based on several different reasons, from current market needs to manuscript issues such as plotting problems to weak narrative or dialogue. We will always provide a brief reason for a rejection. If a contract is offered, we will then discuss the contract and the next step.
Each of the editors is authorized, at any time, to decline to represent an author. On the other hand, the decision to offer to represent a book is entirely Rebecca's. It is the job of the editors to explain why the piece would be a good addition to our list of active projects. Most likely Rebecca will also read the manuscript.
Rebecca is currently the only member of our group who contacts and deals with publishers. It is her contacts and her standing in the industry that make us a viable agency. For that reason we must sell all products to her first.
Should Rebecca decline, despite the best efforts of the editors, you will receive an email from the editor to whom your manuscript was directed. It will most likely contain recommendations much like a rejection at the previous stage would contain. We will also return the manuscript with notes if requested.
Should Rebecca agree, you will hear from her with a discussion of the contract and what is needed to create the necessary relationship.
So What Happens Now?
We may request a chapter-by-chapter outline, a final manuscript and a biography or CV as well as a marketing plan (sound familiar?)
We will make contact with publishers and provide you with rejections as they are received. We will also tell you when a publisher expresses interest.
We will require of you both patience and cooperation. When a publisher asks for something not already in our working file we will come to you and expect that you will produce whatever is requested in a timely manner. Response times from publishers vary. It can take anywhere from three to six months.
When we do here we will contact you immediately. If an offer is made, we will negotiate the best terms for you, and insure that you read all correspondence with any publishers. It can take up to two years to sell a book.
The Client Development Team
Rebecca Pratt Literary Group