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  1. #51
    Words ARE my blood...
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    Quote Originally Posted by in_fusion_production View Post
    They force writers to sign a clause that takes all arbitration to a Christian oriented panel and forgo all legitimate, secular arbitration in the courts.
    Wait...what does that mean in laymens terms?

  2. #52
    working hard - hard at work? iwannabepublished's Avatar
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    Asking too much? (merged into Hartline thread in BR&BC)

    I have been querying agents for quite a while and always make sure to check their websites, or other sources, for submission requirements. As I am sure most of us are aware, the basic requirements include a brief cover letter, a synopsis (of varying length), a sample of the manuscript, any prior publications, and on occasion a brief bio. I came across an agent's website recently that went a bit further. Here is their list of required material -

    Cover Letter, Proposal cover page, One-page "sell sheet", Biographical sketch, Story synopsis, Market analysis, Competitive analysis, Marketing strategies (if any), History of the manuscript (if any), The First Three Chapters

    I am be a bit of neophyte but aren't some of these items what an agent is paid to do? I wouldn't know where to begin to write a 'marketing strategy' or a 'competitive analysis', for example.

    If I leave out a number of these 'requirements', will the agent immediately reject my submission?
    The  Alkano Letters - The Carthage Connection - Carved In  Stone
    The Alkano Letters - The Carthage Connection - Carved In Stone
    (Amazon softcover/kindle - B&N nook - Smashwords various formats)

  3. #53
    Snowman...on the job Esmeralda's Avatar
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    Hi Ken.
    I'm curious. What agency or agent are these requirements for?

  4. #54
    Stunt-Writer amyashley's Avatar
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    Is this for non-fiction? And if so, have you googled these terms for adescription or how-to? They may be easier to do than you think.

    It sounds more like a non-fiction proposal to me than a typical fiction query.
    MOSTLY NORMAL (flying toddler book) *on submission*

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  5. #55
    Absolutely Fazed
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    A lot of that sounds like the stuff you might see in a proposal package for a nonfiction work. It's definitely unusual to see in fiction. A one-sheet? What would you put on that? That's usually where you'd put blurbs, pull quotes from reviews or previews (common in the games industry), facts about the product. I saw a lot of one-sheets when I reviewed games. They're ads.

    Market analysis and competitive analysis could mean they want to know who you see reading your book. Something like, "I think [MANUSCRIPT TITLE] would appeal to women in the 18-35 age group. Books similar to mine include THE ZOMBIE SURVIVAL GUIDE, THE BREACH, and WAR AND PEACE."

    No clue what the history of the manuscript would include. "Well, I was drunk one night, and we were joking around. 'What if ducks could swim upside-down and there was a world of mermaids beneath the duck pond?' After writing the first draft and letting it sit for a few months, I went back and revised it. Then I revised it some more. And again. I changed the ducks to platypii and the mermaids became water nymphs. I added a subplot about evil aliens. And that's how NYMPHO ALIEN, POISON MAMMAL came about."

    Actually, they probably just want to know if the book has been seen by publishers or if any other agents are reading it. But I like my first explanation better.

    Does this agent have a lot of experience in fiction? I have no idea if the agent would reject you for leaving that stuff out. Speaking personally, I'd just skip that agent and move on, but that's me.

  6. #56
    First lily of summer AW Moderator Calla Lily's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwannabepublished View Post
    Cover Letter, Proposal cover page, One-page "sell sheet", Biographical sketch, Story synopsis, Market analysis, Competitive analysis, Marketing strategies (if any), History of the manuscript (if any), The First Three Chapters

    I am be a bit of neophyte but aren't some of these items what an agent is paid to do? I wouldn't know where to begin to write a 'marketing strategy' or a 'competitive analysis', for example.
    *shrug* I did that for at least 2 agents when I was querying. Since I wanted them to rep me, I followed their guidelines.

    A competitive analysis is what Amaz0n does with their "people who bought this book also bought these books" feature. I created a list of 4-5 books that were published recently with similar elements to mine, and I gave a reason why buyers of those might also buy mine.

    The marketing strategy I wrote was one paragraph that listed my possible relevant contacts and other strengths. I was a teacher, I'm an experienced public speaker, Groups X and Y would be good avenues for me to speak to. It showed that I was willing to do my share of marketing my own book.

    Quote Originally Posted by iwannabepublished View Post

    If I leave out a number of these 'requirements', will the agent immediately reject my submission?
    Probably.
    Last edited by Calla Lily; 11-19-2010 at 08:57 PM.

  7. #57
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    iwannabepublished, that does indeed look like the contents of a proposal. My graphic novel proposal included

    1. sample artwork (cover, sequential, concept, sketches)
    2. a treatment
    3. the first 25 pages
    4. my bio and my artist's bio
    5. marketing prospects
    6. promotion strategies
    7. specifications

    Proposals for non-fic can run 50 pages and more; mine was 46 pages.

  8. #58
    Feeling like an old timer rainsmom's Avatar
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    I agree with those who say that sounds like a list from a non-fiction proposal package. However, those things would be helpful for a proposal for fiction as well.

    At the last conference I attended, Andrea Brown stressed how critical the platform and marketing aspects were for FICTION. In fact, she stressed it at the level that she simply wouldn't take on projects where she didn't feel the novelist had an adequate platform.

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  9. #59
    working hard - hard at work? iwannabepublished's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amyashley View Post
    Is this for non-fiction? And if so, have you googled these terms for adescription or how-to? They may be easier to do than you think.

    It sounds more like a non-fiction proposal to me than a typical fiction query.
    These are for a fiction proposal. Their non-fiction is even more rigorous. I've put the agency name in bold for those interested. When reading their detailed explanation (for fiction), below, it reads almost like some kind of legal defense (6) and/or suggestions for self-publishing (item 5 & 7).


    1. Proposal Cover Page
      • Include the title, author's name, your physical address, your email address, the genre of your novel (e.g. cozy romantic mystery, Civil War historical, women's fiction), and the length (word count). Also put Represented by: Agent’s name, Hartline Literary Agency. Agent’s address, phone and e-mail.

    2. One-page sell sheet
      • A one page overview that summarizes your novel.

    3. Biographical sketch
      • List your writing experience, your education, your achievements, and your prior publishing history.

    4. Story Synopsis
      • Prepare a one to three page synopsis of your story.

    5. Market analysis
      • Identify your novel's audience (the specific categories of readers your book is aimed at) and describe your ability to sell books at speaking engagements, seminars, conferences, and other events.

    6. Competitive analysis
      • Identify novels published within the past five years that are similar to your proposed work. Tell us why your book should be published, and explain how your book is superior and/or provides a new slant on your topic.

    7. Marketing strategies
      • Increasingly, fiction authors are encouraged to promote their novels themselves through writers' conferences, book signings, and web sites. We suggest you establish a web site, and you’ll need to create promotional giveaways, arrange your own book signings, or attend writers' conferences. Think out of the box.

    8. History of the manuscript
      • Please tell us if the manuscript has been submitted to editors and/or publishers by yourself or another agent.

    9. The first three chapters

      • For fiction send the first three chapters. Non-fiction can be your choice of the first three or what you feel best showcases your book.



    The  Alkano Letters - The Carthage Connection - Carved In  Stone
    The Alkano Letters - The Carthage Connection - Carved In Stone
    (Amazon softcover/kindle - B&N nook - Smashwords various formats)

  10. #60
    First lily of summer AW Moderator Calla Lily's Avatar
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    Hartline is well known and respected in the Christian publishing arena. I subbed to them with a different book than the one in my sig. And yes, I fulfilled everything in the above list. (They passed. )

    My advice is unchanged: If you want them to consider you, then jump through their hoops. If you think their rules are too stringent, move on. It's always your choice.

  11. #61
    Stunt-Writer amyashley's Avatar
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    I agree with callalily. I had many agents I passed on simply because I didn't wish to send snail mail queries. That being said, I retained the names for later because I could always return and query them if other agents passed.


    You, as the author, have the power to determine what you wish to send. If the package seems too stringent, then move on. However, if you do fulfill it, you will at least have the materials on hand for any other agents wishing for similar items.

    No worries, I felt similar about my first synopsis. After writing it, I was glad I had it in my files.

    I wished to add that you may also consider that if the agent is this thorough about proposals, it indicates they are probably going to be this thorough when considering publishing contracts and such while representing you. They sound very professional, and that's a good thing.
    Last edited by amyashley; 11-19-2010 at 10:20 PM. Reason: more
    MOSTLY NORMAL (flying toddler book) *on submission*

    FLTR (dystopian fantasy insanity) *OMG IT'S EATING MY BRAIN.*

  12. #62
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I saw this thread because of a Google alert on our name this morning. I'd like to add a couple of comments if I may. First we don't rescind an offer if someone refuses to sign an arbitration agreement. Our contract for representation lays out the terms under which we work and an author is free to accept (sign) or not as they wish. It's how business works, we get to say how we wish to represent someone and they get to say whether it is acceptable to them or not. I might add that quite a number of agencies prefer arbitration to litigation in case of a problem and the only difference in the contracts is who will be handling the arbitration if it is necessary.

    Second - why do we ask for the things we do in a proposal and isn't this something the agent should be doing? Actually, we will never know a project as well as the author,, no matter how much time we might put into it. That means while we can do a lot of things to enhance a proposal and make it fit the market better our chances are greatly enhanced if we have a good proposal submitted to us to build on when we do it. It doesn't take a genius to see that we are evaluating the proposal and how well we could use it to represent the project as much as we are evaluating the project itself. We ask for a little more in a proposal than some do but every piece tells us something that allows us to evaluate the project and its fit for the markets that we are presently working in. Our theory is we'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

    I don't mean to be self-serving but if you'd really like to know what each piece of the proposal is, what it is for, and what we should hope it does I have a little book entitled "A Writer's Survival Guide to Publishing" that painstakingly goes through it a piece at a time. You can find it on Amazon among other places.

    If it is useful information I am a member in good standing of the Association of Authors Representatives and could not be if I ascribed to any questionable practices.

    Hopefully that is helpful. If not feel free to ask me a follow-up question.

    Terry Burns, agent
    Hartline Literary Agency
    Last edited by Terry79104; 11-23-2010 at 12:23 AM.

  13. #63
    working hard - hard at work? iwannabepublished's Avatar
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    Terry,

    Thanks very much for explaining your submission requirements. Based on what others have posted here, I have a feeling my novel would not be something you'd be interested in. However, your list of requirements has provoked a lot of thought.
    The  Alkano Letters - The Carthage Connection - Carved In  Stone
    The Alkano Letters - The Carthage Connection - Carved In Stone
    (Amazon softcover/kindle - B&N nook - Smashwords various formats)

  14. #64
    That door could be a time portal... Deb Kinnard's Avatar
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    I'm with Hartline, and I think it's a great help to me to think these things through prior to trying to propose a book. Particularly the market (this is pretty difficult for me) and comparables. It's helped me pitch a book face-to-face at September's conference, since I'd already thought through some of this.

    Let's face it, gang -- Christian fic is an increasingly tough market to break into and tough to keep selling. The more our agents can prep us to pitch successfully in this market, the better for us in the long run.

    My take, and very happy with my Hartline agent.
    Three-part time travel romance. Part One, SEASONS IN THE MIST
    Part Two, SEASONS OF RECKONING, now available
    Part Three, SEASONS OF HOPE, coming soon, all from Desert Breeze

    An inspiration... ...I have a serious case of Grobanosis

  15. #65
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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  16. #66
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    From today's Deal Lunch (author, title, plot redacted):

    ...to Giovanni Gelati at Trestle Press, in a three-book deal, for publication in March 2012, by Joyce Hart at Hartline Literary Agency.

    Rather surprising.
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  17. #67
    Oh, the humanity. Giant Baby's Avatar
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    Oh, gosh. That is surprising.

    I know there can be quite a bit of lag time between deal and posting. Sometimes months. Perhaps this occurred before other events came to light?

    That said, isn't it commonly the agent who posts the deals, when an agent is involved?
    Moral of the story: Soy yogurt is evil and don't cross picketlines. -Twizzle

  18. #68
    That door could be a time portal... Deb Kinnard's Avatar
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    Sure. Joyce probably reported it via Publisher's Lunch. That's where my agent posts the deals she's made. In my case, I know my agent reported it as soon as we got the contract signed. As far as time-lag, maybe between offer and posting, but not necessarily between executed contract and posting. My take.
    Three-part time travel romance. Part One, SEASONS IN THE MIST
    Part Two, SEASONS OF RECKONING, now available
    Part Three, SEASONS OF HOPE, coming soon, all from Desert Breeze

    An inspiration... ...I have a serious case of Grobanosis

  19. #69
    Writer Beware's Faithful Igor Richard White's Avatar
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    That seems rather . . . odd. I would think most agents would not allow their clients to get involved with a publisher who seems to specialize on stolen art for their covers and questionable editing skills.

    But, that's just me.

  20. #70
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard White View Post
    That seems rather . . . odd. I would think most agents would not allow their clients to get involved with a publisher who seems to specialize on stolen art for their covers and questionable editing skills.

    But, that's just me.

    Even without that, it's a one-person startup written by someone who apparently has no experience and is apparently operating under a pseudonym.
    http://www.staciakane.com

    FIVE DOWN, a Downside anthology, available now!
    Four previously published short stories and one brand new novella, together in one volume.

    Click here for more details.


    WRONG WAYS DOWN available now!


  21. #71
    practical experience, FTW jeseymour's Avatar
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    Crossing this agent off my list. Trestle Press indeed. Yikes!
    http://jeseymour.com
    Out now from Barking Rain Press:
    Lead Poisoning (2nd ed.) - Things go wrong when a fugitive mob troubleshooter retires to New Hampshire to live with his family.
    Stress Fractures - Kevin Markinson, injured escaping from prison, taken hostage with a teenage boy and surrounded by law enforcement, discovers that everybody has a breaking point.
    Frostbite - a bumbling gang of Rhode Island mobsters get more than they bargained for when they kidnap an aging assassin.

  22. #72
    That door could be a time portal... Deb Kinnard's Avatar
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    As I found out when I put a quick question to the ACFW loop, apparently there are two Trestle Presses. How on earth we're supposed to keep track of which one is which, I haven't a clue.
    Three-part time travel romance. Part One, SEASONS IN THE MIST
    Part Two, SEASONS OF RECKONING, now available
    Part Three, SEASONS OF HOPE, coming soon, all from Desert Breeze

    An inspiration... ...I have a serious case of Grobanosis

  23. #73
    Oh, the humanity. Giant Baby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deb Kinnard View Post
    As I found out when I put a quick question to the ACFW loop, apparently there are two Trestle Presses. How on earth we're supposed to keep track of which one is which, I haven't a clue.
    Both with publishers named Giovanni Gelati?
    Moral of the story: Soy yogurt is evil and don't cross picketlines. -Twizzle

  24. #74
    That door could be a time portal... Deb Kinnard's Avatar
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    No. The other one has a line called Trestle Press, but is actually named Ekklesia Publishing. Its principal is Tim Price. He was kind enough to e-mail me when I put the request for info out on the ACFW loop. I do not know the gentleman and apparently Ekklesia is not where Joyce Hart made this deal.
    Three-part time travel romance. Part One, SEASONS IN THE MIST
    Part Two, SEASONS OF RECKONING, now available
    Part Three, SEASONS OF HOPE, coming soon, all from Desert Breeze

    An inspiration... ...I have a serious case of Grobanosis

  25. #75
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Old thread I know, but I just got screwed by Cyle Young of Hartline. He asked me to edit something he was interested in, then, after, he told me they weren't taking on new authors!

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