View Full Version : What's the agent's role in submitting a nonfiction book proposal?

03-24-2008, 04:16 PM
I have one nonfiction book published - I sent a query, then a proposal directly to the publisher and they liked it.

Now, I have an agent and just submitted a proposal for another nonfiction book through her. It is a publisher she has worked with before. The guidelines for their propsal package were quite detailed and I followed them explicitly. Analysis of current, similar books, reading demographics, bio, writing samples, outline and vision for the book, chapter list, sample chapter.

Now my (maybe dumb) question. I was rather expecting the agent to look over what I'd sent to her and make suggestions for tweaking. Given that she knew the publisher and knew what they were looking for. But she told me everything looked great and submitted it as is. Which is fine I suppose, I was very careful in putting it together. I'm assuming she wants to sell the book and won't let anything go to the publisher she's not 100% happy with. Maybe I totally rock at putting together proposals and it was utterly perfect. :tongue

So my (maybe dumb) question: Does the agent typically submit everything the author provides without any suggestions, changes, or feedback?

This has been sort of niggling around at the back of my mind...thanks.

03-24-2008, 04:34 PM
I'm in the same situation. The question I have is how long should I wait before asking the agent about the status of the project. Thanks!

03-24-2008, 05:05 PM
I'm in the same situation. The question I have is how long should I wait before asking the agent about the status of the project. Thanks!

Hi Clearrr, congratulations!

I waited a couple of weeks and emailed. That might seem hasty but a: my proposal was only going to one publisher for a specific project and b: they also asked unofficially if I would be able to finish this project if granted by such and such a date.

My agent said she hadn't heard word but knew the editor in question was very busy and not to worry, so far they had liked all her authors.

I'm a newbie at this really but I figure it can't hurt if you couch your question in enthusiasm..."I am so looking forward to writing this book and excited about the project, have you heard any word?"

03-24-2008, 05:33 PM
Congratulations to you, too!

It's been two weeks today since I sent the material to the agent and the agent contacted me four hours later, indicating that everything had been sent to the publisher. The agent has been incredibly prompt with responses so two weeks feels like an eternity. LOL

03-24-2008, 06:14 PM
I hear you...it'll be 3 weeks on Thursday. I recall from my previous experience with writing and publishing just one book, the whole thing was a legnthy process. Seventeen months from query to actual publishing.

It sounds like your agent submitted what you wrote just the way you sent it to her so perhaps that's normal. :) And now we wait. In the meantime I'll piddle along with other projects...

Like spending wayyy too much time lurking on AW...