Agent requesting Book Proposal for Fiction Submission

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
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John Celestri
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Agent requesting Book Proposal for Fiction Submission

Post by John Celestri » August 22nd, 2013, 4:17 pm

Is it usual to be asked to provide a full book proposal for a crime novel? My wife and I received a very positive response from a reputable British literary agent to a full manuscript that we sent at his request after we had originally queried him. The novel was the second in a series of historical crime fiction novels we had successfully self published back in 2001 and 2003 (before self publishing became acceptable/cool). We've provided him with the book proposal, focusing on its potential as an ongoing series.

I thought that only nonfiction books needed , whereas a fiction manuscript speaks for itself.

Anyone have a similar experience, or provide a possible explanation?

Thanks!
John Celestri
(the male half of "Cathie John")
John Celestri
(the male half of Cathie John)
http://www.cathiejohn.com
http://cathiejohnc.blogspot.com/

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Quill
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Re: Agent requesting Book Proposal for Fiction Submission

Post by Quill » August 25th, 2013, 3:55 pm

No explanation. Except maybe in the UK customs can vary?

You are correct: in fiction the work speaks for itself. And must, since the largest part of the appeal of a work is the writing. Rather than the premise.

MookyMcD
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Re: Agent requesting Book Proposal for Fiction Submission

Post by MookyMcD » August 29th, 2013, 6:15 pm

I think you may be describing a synopsis more than a proposal. If he's already read the full MS, it seems a little odd, but it could be that the agent is thinking in terms of positioning it for offer to publishers.

John Celestri
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Re: Agent requesting Book Proposal for Fiction Submission

Post by John Celestri » September 3rd, 2013, 12:09 pm

The agent specifically asked for: "a full proposal, comprising a page each of Synopsis, Author Profile, Competing Books, and brief Chapter Summaries."

We delivered that three weeks ago and he has not acknowledged receiving it.
John Celestri
(the male half of Cathie John)
http://www.cathiejohn.com
http://cathiejohnc.blogspot.com/

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Quill
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Re: Agent requesting Book Proposal for Fiction Submission

Post by Quill » September 3rd, 2013, 9:37 pm

In fiction the proof is in the pudding, and your agent only asked for the recipe?

Strange.

John Celestri
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Re: Agent requesting Book Proposal for Fiction Submission

Post by John Celestri » September 3rd, 2013, 10:24 pm

We are not signed with this agent. Originally queried him with a basic letter (including a Chicago Tribune review from one of our self published historical crime fiction novels in 2003). He asked for a full manuscript (of that particular novel) which we sent. A day and a half after receiving that, he complemented us with "you write extremely well, and I've enjoyed everything I've read," and asked for a complete book proposal. So, he has an entire package (and there are still used copies of our novels being sold on Amazon and eBay, so there is ample proof of the existence of our copyrighted work).

Whatever the case, Cathie and I are moving forward with an ebook version within the next month. Today, the landscape for independent authors is much friendlier than when we published between 1997 and 2003.
John Celestri
(the male half of Cathie John)
http://www.cathiejohn.com
http://cathiejohnc.blogspot.com/

John Celestri
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Re: Agent requesting Book Proposal for Fiction Submission

Post by John Celestri » September 21st, 2013, 3:55 pm

Haven't heard a peep from this agent, so we're just gonna carry on. Our eBook release of "Little Mexico: An Original Sin City Novel" is now on Amazon. It's a whole new world out there and if you are confident of your material, don't let anyone stop you from presenting it to the public. Readers are the new gatekeepers.
John Celestri
(the male half of Cathie John)
http://www.cathiejohn.com
http://cathiejohnc.blogspot.com/

hauntedsouls
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Re: Agent requesting Book Proposal for Fiction Submission

Post by hauntedsouls » June 28th, 2017, 3:14 pm

I would think this is standard actually. This is to help them market your book and demonstrate to them that you are capable of assisting in that regard. Today, authors are expected to do a lot of the marketing on their own.

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