I help writers get published. Despite what you might have read or assumed, there are several ways to go about it.
Here are some of the ways I most often help writers to get an agent or a book deal:
Your first ten pages: Have a publishing professional review the first ten pages of your manuscript*
Are you working on a manuscript, but not sure what a publishing professional would make of it? Are you struggling to get constructive feedback from well-meaning friends and family members? Have you reached the limits of usefulness of your writers’ group or classes?
Why not show me your first ten pages (double-spaced; up to 3,000 words)? I will edit and annotate my response to your first ten pages, providing editorial feedback on your writing style and storytelling from the point of view of someone who works regularly with publishers, who edits a range of published writers of varied experience, and whose second book will soon be published.
- Finalise payment by going to PayPal.Me/LloydLiterary or emailing me for electronic funds transfer details
- Email me your first ten pages (double-spaced; up to 3,000 words) in Word, PDF or RTF formats
- I will respond to your work within seven days of payment.
Agent-readiness report: Your first three chapters / 50 pages and synopsis
Many agents ask to see a writer’s first 50 pages, or first three chapters, before asking to see a full manuscript. If those pages don’t impress, they won’t want to hear from you again. It’s incredibly harsh.
Don’t you owe it to yourself, and your dream of being published, to make sure your work is at the level an agent expects?
It doesn’t matter what genre you write, or whether it’s literary or commercial in approach: good writing and compelling storytelling is essential.
Similar to my ten-page review, my agent-readiness report provides constructive feedback on the materials you plan to show an agent or publisher. As someone who has agented fiction and nonfiction, edited and assessed fiction and nonfiction, published two works of nonfiction, and knows many of the decision-makers in the publishing industry, I am uniquely placed to give you practical and constructive advice.
To book: as above, though I will advise turnaround time when you finalise payment.
A one-off or regular meeting (whether conducted via email, Skype, FaceTime or telephone) in which I act as a sounding board, publishing advisor, and writing coach. In a mentoring/coaching situation I read a small number of pages per meeting. Frequency of contact is always up to you.
Mentoring/coaching is best for:
- Writers still finding their feet with a project that is underway
- Writers with a complete draft who are struggling with taking their manuscript to the next level
- Writers who need some professional advice to know whether or not their work has the potential to get published
Price: Starts at $275 but varies according to frequency and nature of support needed. Email me for more information.
One-off publishing consultation*
Professionals and subject-matter experts often ask me about how to get a book published when they are not natural writers, or they enjoy writing but don’t know how to move from a few articles or op-eds here and there to writing a whole book. Consultations help such people get a sense of what’s involved, what publishers are looking for, and how they might maximise their chances of getting a publishing deal.
First-time writers or those new to publishing also have lots of questions about the book industry and how to get published. Sometimes you just need someone with book publishing experience to listen to your pitch and give you constructive feedback.
A one-off consultation is best for:
- An expert in their field seeking to better understand the book publishing industry
- Someone with an idea for a book of any kind who just wants to know if the idea has potential from a publisher’s point of view
Price: $75 (by phone/Skype/FaceTime)
Full-length manuscript assessment*
Occasionally I’ll do an assessment, though because my availability is limited I tend to accept these primarily via word-of-mouth referrals.
A ms assessment is best for:
- A writer with a complete manuscript draft, who is looking for constructive feedback on how to develop their work to a level that will maximise their chances of getting published
Sometimes a writer will engage me to help them take their manuscript to a publishable level. Sometimes a book publisher will engage me to work closely with a contracted author to help shape the overall work and make sure it is delivered on time. I have done this for several high-profile individuals including former Queensland Premier Anna Bligh with her memoir, Through the Wall (HarperCollins, 2015).
Editorial/structural development is best for:
- Writers who want discreet and constructive help in making their manuscript the best it can be
- Publishers looking for a reliable third party who can deliver a manuscript to a publishable standard within an agreed timeframe
Book proposal development*
Sometimes I’ll work with a writer – typically an expert in his or her field, who is new to writing a book but who has lots of information to share – to develop a proposal to pitch to book publishers. If a proposal is strong enough, having one or two chapters and a complete outline can be sufficient to persuade a publisher to acquire the project before it’s even written. One such work is Dr Steven Lin‘s The Dental Diet (Hay House, 2018).
Occasionally I act in the traditional manner of the literary agent, in which I approach a shortlist of relevant publishers on behalf of an author’s manuscript, and take a standard 15% commission on income earned by the author, beginning with the advance sum a publisher pays on acquiring the manuscript. If I’m agenting a book then I charge no fee, just commission on the advance and any royalties earned down the track. Here’s a partial list of books I’ve agented.
Important note about remuneration:
I provide a range of services to authors that support their efforts to get published. I charge a fee to provide the asterisked services above (). When I charge a fee for services, however, I do not charge any commission on acquisition by a publisher. No double dipping here! But it is for this reason that I have never joined an association of traditional literary agents, such as the Australian Literary Agents Association.