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Frequently Asked Questions

Submission FAQs

Literary Agent FAQs

Publishing FAQs

Submission FAQs

We are interested in all areas of non-fiction, especially in the following categories: history, true crime, investigative journalism, politics, business, natural history/environment, national security/intelligence, current affairs, biography, pop culture, science, self-help, biography, health, medicine, and humor.

Although we occasionally represent children’s books or novels from existing clients, we are not accepting submissions in these categories.

We are only seeking non-fiction proposals at the present time.

A short inquiry by e-mail is best. Describe the book project, why it’s compelling, and your credentials/platform. Please do not paste entire chapters into the body of an e-mail message. If we’re interested in what you’re offering, you’ll hear from us!

Literary Agent FAQs

We are most responsive to book ideas that we believe we can sell, and that fit our interests.  We are looking for non-fiction books of all types, preferably from authors who have an established platform. To best way to win us over is to send us a compelling pitch by e-mail. Describe your book, why it’s timely, captivating, and different, and tell us about your credentials and platform. The best pitches are succinct but persuasive. We look forward to hearing from you!

I’m an entrepreneur at heart and I love the business side of publishing – finding great authors and book ideas, pitching book projects, negotiating deals, working on marketing and merchandising plans, and being part of the launch of a product. I became a bestselling author early in my career and eight years later, after several successive bestsellers, I decided to put my business savvy and passion for publishing to work for other authors. I love what I do, and I love getting excited about a new book project that I can pitch to the editors I work with.

Writers may think they are better off by working directly with a publisher, without the guidance of a literary agent. Doing so, however, can undermine your financial success and your career.

We can help you create and sharpen your book proposal, to help you focus your idea and increase the likelihood of stronger offers from publishers.

Within each publishing house, there are different editors, each with their own interests and “wish lists” for books. We have established relationships with top editors and publishers across North America and around the world, and we can help you identify the most appropriate editors and publishers for your book.

If you already have an offer, we highly recommend you don’t try and negotiate it on your own. We can help you assess the offer and evaluate your options. It takes years of specialized experience and insider knowledge to know how to interpret, negotiate, and improve a publishing deal. With almost twenty years of experience negotiating with publishers, we can help you negotiate a better contract by improving a deal in ways you weren’t even aware of.

Finally, a literary agent is your advocate and advisor. The publisher has a team of people looking out for its interests. Who is looking out for yours? We can help troubleshoot, advocate on your behalf with the publisher, and advise you when problems and challenges arise, as they inevitably do.

Publishing FAQs

Most literary agencies are receiving thousands of proposals a year, far more than they can accept for representation.

Trying to get a book proposal accepted by a major publishing house is not that different from applying to a highly competitive college or university. Publishers, like many academic institutions, have a limited number of openings available, and they are seeking the best possible candidates.

Like all literary agencies, we can only offer to represent books that we believe we can sell to the publishers we work with, and because the standards set by publishers are so high, we, in turn, have to be highly selective when reviewing book proposals.

Because of the considerable amount of time required to shape an idea, pitch it to editors, and negotiate a contract, it’s simply impossible for an agent to represent everything, even projects that are likely to result in an offer from a publisher.

Many authors are disappointed with the marketing and publicity support they receive from their publishers. In some cases, these complaints are warranted, but often they are not.  When a publisher is unsuccessful in generating a lot of media coverage for an author, the publisher is usually not at fault.  It may surprise you to learn that a publisher has limited control over which books succeed and which ones fail. A lot depends on the author. 

By and large, the media decides what books they are going to review or feature. A well-connected publisher can get your book to the right people, but after that, the decision to interview or feature an author or review a book is out of the publisher’s hands.

The media often favors books by well-known authors or those with a platform. But with fewer people consuming traditional media, media coverage alone doesn’t guarantee strong and sustained book sales.

It is therefore out of necessity that publishers place so much value on an author’s platform – social media followers, television and radio appearances, bylines in major publications, industry connections – when evaluating a book proposal.

There are many different reasons why a proposal or manuscript might get rejected by a publisher, but here are some of the more common reasons:

(1) The editor didn’t like the writing or the author’s treatment of the subject matter.

(2) The editor was unable to get unanimous support for the book from his or her colleagues.

(3) The book is too similar to another book the publisher has acquired.

(4) The publisher has experienced poor results with similar books.

(5) The publisher believes the potential market for the book is too small.

(6) The publisher is not satisfied with the author’s platform.

(7) The author’s previous books (if there are any) have not sold well.

(8) There is not enough new information in the book.

New books are published every month of the year.  In the United States and Canada, new books are released on Tuesdays.  In the United Kingdom, new books are released on Thursdays.

The release date for a given book (month and season) will depend on several factors, including when the manuscript is ready, the timeliness of the subject matter, the release dates of the publisher’s other titles, and when the media and the general public is most likely to be interested in the subject matter.

Once a manuscript is delivered to the publisher, the publisher generally needs at least 9-12 months to get it into bookstores. This time period may need to be extended if a manuscript requires extensive editing or rewriting, and it can be shortened in the case of time-sensitive books that a publisher wants to get into the market quickly.

During the time period leading up to publication, many things happen. The manuscript is edited, copyedited, and typeset; marketing and sales plans are drawn up; the cover is designed; the publisher’s sales representatives solicit orders from physical and online retailers; advance copies of the book called “galleys” are often mailed out; and a publicist begins reaching out to media outlets to arrange reviews, excerpts, and interviews.

Once retailers have placed their orders, the book is printed, delivered to the publisher’s warehouse, and copies begin arriving in bookstores and other retail locations.

In this day and age, when it’s possible to publish anything and make it available worldwide almost instantaneously, a year may seem like a long time to wait for a book to be published.  But all of this pre-publication work can pay off in the form of a better manuscript, bigger orders from retailers, and top-tier media coverage – all factors that will influence sales.

There is no agreed-upon definition of what constitutes a bestseller, and no consensus on the level of sales a book must reach in order to achieve bestseller status. will declare a book a bestseller when it performs well in a specific category or subcategory on its website. Amazon also maintains a separate list of its top 100 books overall, updated hourly, for print, audio and electronic books.

The New York Times, for its part, compiles its own weekly lists of bestsellers, using data reported by a panel of retailers from across the United States. There are multiple lists, for adult books, children’s books, and audio books. The adult lists are broken down even further into hardcover and paperback formats and then again into fiction and non-fiction titles. There are separate monthly lists for science and sports/fitness books and a weekly list for books that dispense advice, know-how, and miscellaneous information.

Like the New York Times, USA Today collects sales data from a broad spectrum of retailers, but instead of generating multiple category or format-specific lists, it generates a single list of the top 150 titles that incorporates both fiction and non-fiction titles.

Regional retailers and newspapers may have their own bestseller lists, reflecting local sales patterns.

Because methodologies and criteria vary, a book can appear on one bestseller list but not another. To make matters more confusing, a book may be among the top-selling titles in the country in any given week (good enough to qualify as a bestseller by any objective measure), yet it may still not appear on a national newspaper’s bestseller list if it doesn’t meet the standards set by the newspaper.

Welcoming electronic queries


Please include a brief description of your project, your credentials, and your contact information. Currently not accepting fiction/novels, screenplays, poetry, or children’s books.