Are you looking for a literary agent? How confident are you that your unsolicited manuscript is ready for submission?
How do you know if your work is strong enough to show an agent or publisher?
Maybe you feel good about your manuscript, but you’re not sure about your query letter and synopsis (or chapter outline).
What do agents and publishers look for in a query letter, anyway?
Or have you been approaching agents, submitting your query letter and synopsis, and not hearing back?
Many agents and publishing electronic submissions portals ask to see a writer’s first 50 pages, or first three chapters, in addition to your synopsis and query letter, before asking to see a full manuscript. If those pages don’t impress, they don’t want to hear from you again.
It’s incredibly harsh.
As a result, in most cases, you get just one shot with an agent or a publisher.
Wouldn’t it be great to get some feedback on your writing and query before you do, in case you don’t get another chance?
My Agent-Readiness Report gives unpublished authors an agent’s and publisher’s view of your unsolicited manuscript submission, without the high stakes of a rejection.
I will read your materials and tell you what an agent or publisher will probably make of it, so you can either go ahead with your submission, or choose to rework aspects of it before you do.
I will provide constructive feedback on your materials so that you can overcome any points of resistance I can identify in what you plan to submit, or what you’ve already submitted.
Either way, you will be able to submit your query letter, synopsis and partial manuscript to agents and publishers with more confidence.
What’s included in the Agent-Readiness Report
Here’s what I do:
First, I read:
- your first 50 pages/first three chapters (double-spaced, paginated)
- your cover letter to an agent, typically known as a query email
- your synopsis (fiction) / chapter outline (nonfiction)
Second, I provide detailed constructive ideas, suggestions and comments responding to all of the above, including:
- what’s working, what’s new/fresh/commercially appealing from an agent/publisher’s perspective
- what’s not clear – whether it’s your story, your point of differentiation in the market, or
- what’s missing from your submission that an agent or publisher would expect to see
- editorial red flags about your writing that you should fix before submitting (or risk turning off your target immediately)
You owe it to yourself to give your work the best possible chance of success
It doesn’t matter what genre you write, or whether it’s literary or commercial in flavour: good writing and compelling storytelling is essential.
Don’t you owe it to yourself, and your dream of being published, to make sure your work is at the level an agent or publisher expects to see?
You won’t get an insider’s view from your writing group, or your online class, or your family and friends.
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 so that you make the best possible impression on your potential literary agent or book publisher.
What do my clients say?
Here are some recent testimonials from my clients. Their projects include memoir, fiction and nonfiction.
“I made a lot of changes to WHALE ROCK, as per your suggestions, and eventually published it through IndieMosh in March this year. It won Gold for Popular Literary Fiction in the Global Ebook Awards 2019.” ~ Diana Plater
“Thank you so much for your valuable advice. Your comments were realistic and pertinent. It is always hard to let someone else comment on work that has demanded so many years of toil and heartache. You gave me insight and food for thought and I thank you very much. So glad I found you on line and took the plunge to ask for help.” ~ Joan E.
“Virginia’s service was just what my writing needed to take it to the next level. Her editing, commenting and questioning has lead to significant improvement in my story telling and the quality of my book. Virginia was both responsive and insightful making the decision to trust her with my work one that I am very glad I made and one that I will repeat in the future. This is a service any aspiring or established author could benefit from.” ~ David S.
“Thank you for your feedback, it is excellent and I am already making changes that will hopefully stay with me as I continue to write.” ~ Neil P.
“Big thanks for the comments and your encouraging words. The suggestions have made sense and I’ve edited these pages and already feel they’re stronger.” ~ Rhys G.