170.jpg

Submission Checking

 

This service is for authors who have a fully completed and finished off (i.e. edited & proofread manuscript), a full synopsis, and a query letter, and who want their 'submission pack' to be checked (and corrected if necessary) before sending it out to agents and/or publishers.

This is simply a check of the submission pack, not the whole manuscript (which must have already been proofread by us or someone else), so it is usually turned around fairly quickly at our end.

The Basics

Almost ALL Agents/Publishers require the following:

1. A query (i.e.covering) letter;

2. A synopsis of your whole book;

3. A sample of the book (e.g. 3 chapters). 

The Details

1. Query Letter

If this is no good, the Agent will most likely not even get on to reading your synopsis, let alone your manuscript.

Your covering letter:

i) Must address the Agent personally, not "Dear Agent" or "To whom it may concern" et cetera;

ii) Must include a punchy Elevator Pitch (sometimes called a 'hook');

iii) Must state briefly what your book is about by expanding on the Elevator Pitch, usually by employing a description of your main character's 'problem' and an 'inciting incident' (for a novel), or the readers' problem (e.g. overweight, addiction) for a non-fiction book.

iv) Should say why you want to work with the particular agent you are addressing (e.g. you noticed that they represent this genre);

v) Must say who you are and what your past experience is, e.g. if you self-published before and got into one of Amazon's top 100 lists you should say this - it will impress the Agent - but don't go over the top about how great you are!

vi) Keep your letter to one side of A4.

2. Synopsis

Your synopsis must be properly laid out (chapter by chapter is a good way) and must be easily readable in a few minutes; an agent can't afford to spend 30 minutes reading a synopsis. 

3. Sample

 

Nearly every Agent says on their website what portion of your book they want initially. It is usually the first 3 chapters, or the first 4000 words, or something like that. As we now live in an age of PDFs, emails and attachments, many of the less pedantic will accept the whole manuscript and just read as much or as little as they need to in order to make a decision, BUT if they specify categorically that they only want 3 chapters then ONLY send 3 chapters.

What does it cost and how long will it take to do?

£85 flat fee, irrespective of the manuscript type, for initial review.

£30 for subsequent reviews (i.e. after you have made - or at least you think you have - any corrections we suggest)

Turnaround time for this service is generally one week unless we are exceptionally busy. We will tell you if your submission pack is good to go, or if it needs amending. Unless one of our editors did your copy edit or proofread, we will not be able to comment on the content of your synopsis (because we haven't read your manuscript) so we will assume that it is factually correct, but we will make comments like:

 

Your synopsis is too long/short.

It's too boring/It doesn't excite/You need to condense/You need to make it sound more interesting.

It isn't clear what's going on in chapter 8.

Chapter 26 seems to contradict chapter 11.

The characters are badly described/uninteresting.

 

The same applies to your query letter.

170.jpg

Initial consultations always free and without obligation