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Frequently Asked Questions

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How did BookEnds get started?

BookEnds Literary Agency first started when two good friends decided to make a change. In 1999, Jessica Faust and Jacky Sach were sitting in their Brooklyn apartment wondering what they could do differently, and it was from that conversation that BookEnds was founded. Originally starting a book packaging company, it wasn't long before Jessica and Jacky realized that they wanted even more. They missed working on fiction and they missed seeing what could come from an author's imagination. So not two years after opening its doors, BookEnds changed its literary status to Agency.

Since that time, Jacky has left to forge yet another successful career and to continue to follow her dreams. However, BookEnds continues to operate with the same attitude as when we started: We're about achieving dreams and doing what we love. Representing books and authors we have fallen in love with, BookEnds agents all hope to continue to live their dreams while helping authors achieve theirs.

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Are you a member of AAR or any other publishing organizations?

All BookEnds agents are members of AAR (Association of Author Representatives) and adhere to AAR guidelines. BookEnds is also a member of the RWAMWASCBWI, and ITW.

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I've finished my book and feel ready to start querying, what are my next steps?

Please see this entry on the BookEnds blog.

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What is the proper format for submitting my material?

Please see this entry on the BookEnds blog.

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What do you look for in a query letter?

As of June 2016, BookEnds is using QueryManager.com to receive queries and submissions. Each agent has a simple form that details what they'd like to see.

Whether you're submitting to BookEnds or any other agency, including the following information will help an agent better evaluate your material.

  • The book's title, the genre it best fits into, and the word count.
  • A very brief synopsis of your book. This is the most important piece of the letter since this is the one thing that's going to hook the agent. We don't need to know every detail of your secondary characters, but we do need to know what those key things are about your book that makes it different or special. To use one of our own books as an example:

"In The Trouble with Cowboys, the culinary world meets ranch country when a humiliated chef competition contestant returns to her small town to open a restaurant. Amy's sworn off belt buckles and Stetsons for good after one too many cowboys breaks her heart, but saving her family's farm means trusting sexy rancher Kellan Reed. The last thing Amy needed is more cowboy trouble—especially with a potential business associate—but Kellan walks and talks like the last honest cowboy in the west. When the truth comes out that he's the heir to the company hell-bent on running Amy off her land, he'll have to prove his worth if he hopes to protect Amy's farm and win the heart of the woman who's captivated his." (from Melissa Cutler's original query for The Trouble with Cowboys)

  • A bio that highlights any significant writing experience you have had.
  • Your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and any other pertinent contact information.

Please note, even if material has been requested you should always include a cover letter reminding us that we've requested it, the title of your book, and what it's about. For those submissions sent via QueryManger.com, we recommend you put this cover letter at the start of the document containing your manuscript.

For more information, please see this entry on the BookEnds blog.

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Is a rejection from one BookEnds agent a rejection from all BookEnds agents?

No. You are welcome to query multiple agents at BookEnds, just never at the same time. If you are torn between querying two or more agents and are rejected by the one you ultimately chose, feel free to go ahead and query the other.

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How do I submit requested material?

If material has been requested through QueryManager.com, the request included instructions on how to upload your material. Please refer to that request.

If material has been requested through email by one of our agents, submissions should always be sent as an attachment, preferably Microsoft Word (since that's probably the most universally used program), in one file. And, to be extra safe, we suggest including your letter along with the attachment. In other words, write a letter in the body of the email reminding the agent that the material was requested and that you've attached it. Also include this letter in the manuscript file you are sending. This letter should be similar to your first query in that it also gives a blurb. Think of it as your reminder to the agent of what the book is and what made her get so excited about it in the first place. And for those who want exact rules, letter first (including all contact information), chapters or manuscript second, and synopsis last. One file. For additional information, please see the Submissions page for all our submissions guidelines.

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I received an offer of representation / publication. Now what?

Congratulations on your offer! If you submitted to us via email, please email the agent you submitted to and let her know that you’ve received an offer. The subject of the email should include OFFER OF REPRESENTATION (or PUBLICATION). Be sure to include in the email the title of the work, your name, the date the material was sent, and when you need a response by. Even better, include your original email and change the subject to OFFER OF REPRESENTATION.

If you’ve submitted to us via QueryManager.com, go to your original submission and select the option to notify us of an offer. Keep the unique link that was generated when you queried us! Should you have need to notify us of an offer or withdraw your submission, you can do so via that link.

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What is a proposal?

A proposal can mean many things to many people. Fiction writers asked to submit a proposal to BookEnds should include the first three chapters of the book (no more than 50 pages), a synopsis (whatever you already have on hand is fine), an author bio highlighting significant writing experience, organization membership, or anything else that might be pertinent to your work, and a detailed query/cover letter reminding us of what you're submitting.

Nonfiction writers have a great deal more work to do when submitting a proposal. Since nonfiction can be sold primarily on proposal, nonfiction writers need to include the following:

  • Overview—this should include a one-paragraph or half-page summary of your book and what makes it different from everything else out there. Your overview should also include a detailed chapter summary if you aren't planning on submitting the entire book.
  • Author bio—since nonfiction is almost entirely about who the author is, it's imperative that you give detailed information on what makes you an expert in the field you're writing in as well as any media exposure you've had relating to the subject.
  • Competition/Marketing—how do you intend to market this book for the publisher? Only give information that is actually attainable to you. If you've already written articles for Entrepreneurmagazine then mention this; don't mention Oprah unless you can guarantee it! Also include information on how your book differs from other similar books already on the market.
  • Writing Sample (the first 1–3 chapters of your book)
  • And of course don't forget the detailed query/cover letter.

Please note that narrative nonfiction should be submitted as if it were fiction.

For more information, please see our Submissions page and this entry on the BookEnds blog. Also see our blog posts on proposals for nonfiction writers and proposals for fiction writers.

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What length synopsis do you need/prefer?

BookEnds has no specific synopsis guidelines. Instead we always say, whatever you have on hand is fine. However, if that's not enough of an explanation, we think a synopsis should usually run about one to three single-spaced pages and include all pertinent information about the book, including the ending.

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How long should I wait to get a reply?

Because of the vast number of queries and partials each BookEnds agent receives we will work our hardest to respond in a timely manner. Our goal is to respond to all queries in 6 weeks and all requested partials and fulls in 12 weeks. Unfortunately, at times, circumstances mean we fall behind in our responses. If you haven't received a response in the time estimations given above, please don't hesitate to send an email to the agent you sent your material to requesting a status update. The email should include the title of the work, date the submission or query was sent, and the name of the author. Also, do let us know if you submitted over email or through QueryManager.com. Any other information you have that might help us remember your book is helpful. We certainly understand that waiting can be the hardest part and thank you not only for giving us the chance to review your work but for your patience.

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Am I allowed to re-query agents if I've improved my manuscript?

Please see this entry on the BookEnds blog.

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Do you charge a reading fee?

BookEnds is a member of AAR and as such does not charge any reading fees or up-front marketing fees.

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What are your fees/charges?

BookEnds charges the standard commission rates of 15% commission on domestic sales and 20–25% on foreign and film rights sales if a sub-agent is employed.

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Are you available to speak at conferences or writers' group meetings?

All BookEnds agents are available to speak at writers' conferences and chapter meetings. They cover such topics as contract negotiation, hiring and working with an agent, writing a proposal, manuscript submission, getting the most out of a conference and pitch sessions, getting published, and publishing today. To get in touch with them, feel free to contact them directly through our About Us page.

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Do you represent authors from outside the United States?

BookEnds is proud to say we have clients living all around the world and are open to submissions from all authors, wherever they live, whatever their nationality.

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Do you still have unanswered questions?

If you have any questions about BookEnds that haven't been answered on the website, please email us at Questions: Bookends@bookendsliterary.com

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