What to Expect When Submitting to Agents

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Aug 26 2019

Submitting to agents is a process and there’s a certain evolution that leads to eventual success.

Long ago I wrote a blog post similar on the evolution of rejection. While some of this is still relevant, times have changed and snail mail is no longer the standard for submitting to agents (thank goodness).

Based on a question from a reader I think an update to that post is long overdue.

Could you clarify your ‘select’ non-fiction submission criteria? Send a standard query (as opposed to a proposal) and just three pages (not three chapters)? Books should be complete? Any other information that you feel is relevant to share for ease in making your decision? Much appreciation for your time. 

The submission process for nonfiction and fiction is more or less the same.

  1. Standard query first. As per my Query Manager I will also ask for a few sample pages. In this case, I would recommend everyone make those the first few pages of your first chapter (not prologue and not synopsis)
  2. If a request is made it will likely be for a full for fiction or memoir and a proposal for non-narrative nonfiction and some narrative nonfiction. Partials are also acceptable for previously published fiction authors.
  3. Non-narrative nonfiction (most of what I represent) does not need to be completed to submit or sell, but a strong platform is essential.
  4. If the material is something I want to represent you will likely hear from me either via email or phone (eventually a call will always be set up or should be).

As for what I mean by select nonfiction, it means I’m very limited on the type of nonfiction that I am representing or want to represent. In other words, I’m picky. But I am hungry.

Good luck!