Pitching Us


We are always interested in seeing non-fiction proposals from prospective clients, especially in the following subject 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.

Many of the agency’s sales to publishers have originated as cold pitches from authors, so unsolicited queries are always welcome.

Due to the large volume of submissions, it is not possible to reply to each submission. Every inquiry is considered, and you will be contacted if we are interested in pursuing your project or more information is required. Electronic queries by e-mail are preferred. You can reach us at submissions@rbaliterary.com.

On any given day, thousands of people are pitching projects to literary agents, and hundreds of projects are under consideration by book publishers. Publishers can only publish a limited number of new books each year, so only the most promising proposals make it past their rigorous screening process.

The major commercial publishers are in the business of selling books and generating profits, so priority is therefore given to books that they hope will generate substantial orders from retailers, draw lots of media coverage, and sell lots of copies to consumers.

To improve your chances of standing out in such a competitive environment, make sure to address the following questions when pitching us.

What is your idea?

What’s the premise of your book and what makes it compelling? You should be able to summarize your book in just a few hundred words.

What is your platform?

A book is more likely to be successful when an author has a “platform.” Specifically, publishers want to know about your credentials, your media experience, your social media following, and your connections. What makes you uniquely qualified to write your book? What assets and relationships do you have that could help support the marketing, promotion and sales of your book?

If you’re a leading expert in your field or you have experience writing for major newspapers or magazines, you’re more saleable to a major publisher. Similarly, if you have a sizeable audience on social media (e.g. Instagram or Twitter), or you have a popular podcast or Web site, publishers are more inclined to respond favorably to your proposal. You’re also more attractive as an author if you’re affiliated with a major organization or university/college that could help with the marketing of your book, or if you’re speaking regularly to large groups of people.

If you have a big platform, retailers are more likely to stock your book, and media outlets will be more interested in talking to you. As a result, an author with a platform is extremely attractive to a publisher.

The size of your platform can be the difference between a small order from a retailer and a large commitment for tens of thousands of books.

How is your book different?

With millions of books for sale at any given moment, you can’t blame publishers for asking “what’s new here?” when reviewing a book proposal. When it comes time to pitch your book to book retailers and media outlets, the publisher must be able to effectively differentiate your book from other similar books on the market. Survey the market for the topic you are writing about and explain why your book will stand out.

Why is there a market for your book?

It’s important to address any recent market trends, headlines, and current events that support the timeliness of your book. Why do anticipate there will be a strong appetite for your work?

When publishers assess the sales potential of a book, they look for comparable books. These are known in the book industry as “comp titles”. Comp titles are books that are analogous to your book, because of the subject matter, the narrative style, or because the audience is similar. Good comp titles are books that have sold well and been published within the last two or three years. We can help you verify the sales track of any comp titles you identify to ensure you are not comparing your book to titles that have performed poorly in the market.

Identifying comp titles for your book (e.g. “it’s similar to X and Y”) or describing it as a cross-between two books (“it’s X meets Y”) is an important part of pitching a book. Comp titles not only help a publisher estimate the sales for a book, they are also extremely important when a publisher is soliciting orders from a retailer. It’s much easier for publishers and book buyers to grasp the gist of your book and size up the market if you can compare it to familiar titles that have performed well.


Currently NOT accepting fiction/novels, screenplays, poetry, or children’s books

Welcoming electronic queries


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