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MarkEsq
10-22-2008, 01:44 AM
I sent an e-query to this agency for a non-fiction book, and told them I have a proposal I'd like to send if they are interested. Their response:

We received your query and would like to review sample materials on an exclusive basis. Please forward three representative chapters (approximately 50 pages) and, if you would like the materials to be returned, an adequate SASE. Otherwise, we still have the SASE included with your query letter. Please mark your envelope, “Requested Materials.”

My concerns:
1. Three other agents have the proposal so I can't grant an exclusive;
2. I don't have three chapters/50 pages because it's non-fiction;
3. They can't "still have my SASE" because I didn't send my query snail mail.

Is there a chance he didn't mean to email me??
Should I email him back about my concerns?
Should I just send the proposal?

Help!

(And thanks. :))

Mark

Julie Worth
10-22-2008, 01:49 AM
My concerns:
1. Three other agents have the proposal so I can't grant an exclusive;

I would just send the materials and say you have other submissions out, so you can't grant an exclusive.

2. I don't have three chapters/50 pages because it's non-fiction;

You don't have three chapters? I thought that was standard for a proposal?

3. They can't "still have my SASE" because I didn't send my query snail mail.

Just a form letter, so not entirely correct.

MarkEsq
10-22-2008, 01:54 AM
My concerns:
1. Three other agents have the proposal so I can't grant an exclusive;

I would just send the materials and say you have other submissions out, so you can't grant an exclusive.

2. I don't have three chapters/50 pages because it's non-fiction;

You don't have three chapters? I thought that was standard for a proposal?

3. They can't "still have my SASE" because I didn't send my query snail mail.

Just a form letter, so not entirely correct.

Thanks Julie. I have one chapter completed, I didn't think three was standard although I have seem some agents want them. Guess I should get writing, huh?!
Thanks again.
M.

Julie Worth
10-22-2008, 01:55 AM
Thanks Julie. I have one chapter completed, I didn't think three was standard although I have seem some agents want them. Guess I should get writing, huh?!
Thanks again.
M.


At PMA, they want the following for a proposal (http://www.pmalitfilm.com/nonficprop.html):


Overview/Summary:
The Market:
Author Bio/s:
Promotability:
Format:
Table of Contents:
Outline:
Introduction, Preface and/or Forward:
Sample Chapters: Normally, include the first three chapters or first 40 pages.

IceCreamEmpress
10-22-2008, 02:18 AM
Three chapters are indeed the standard sample for non-fiction proposals in the US.

scope
10-22-2008, 08:09 AM
[quote=MarkEsq;2873295]

My concerns:
1. Three other agents have the proposal so I can't grant an exclusive;

Tell the agent you can't grant an exclusive since you submissions out to other agencies. Of course word it in a fashion that makes the agent feel as if she is the one you would like to work with.

2. I don't have three chapters/50 pages because it's non-fiction;

Your bad!
It's standard procedure to complete the first three chapters before doing sending out any queries. For some reason many nonfiction writers skip this step and simply rely on their proposal. Me, I'm a throw-back, I complete my nonfiction manuscripts in their entirety before doing any querying (I've found it to be the best way for me to work). But forget me, the first three chapters are a must. You can now see the problems that can arise by not doing so.
rAt this point I wouldn't recommend rushing in order to complete the missing chapters. It's probably best to just state the truth and hope it's OK. Probably will be, although by the time you complete and send you may have lost some of agents attention and the momentum you now have with her. But you can only do what you can do.

3. They can't "still have my SASE" because I didn't send my query snail mail.

No matter. If you don't want your proposal and chapters returned just say that you've enclosed a SASE for the agents reply and tell her that your work can be recycled.