Insider Tips


If you get a literary agent, it can be to your advantage. We tend to take proposals a little more seriously if they come via an agent, because we know the proposal has been vetted by that agent and is now presented in the best possible style and form. An agent may also be helpful to you in contract negotiations.

However, we do publish a tremendous amount of un-agented books, so agent representation is not necessarily required to get us to publish your book. We recommend you at least discuss your proposal/idea with several agents to see if their representation is right for you.

Format & Presentation

Appearances are important. Your proposal's presentation will be seen as indicative of the form in which your entire manuscript will be delivered. A clean, easy-to-read proposal encourages an editor to put it on the top of the "to do" pile. Here are some tips:

Barring exceptional circumstances, your entire proposal (excluding sample chapters) should be no more than 20-30 pages long.

Double-space and use reasonable margins on 81/2 x 11 paper. Don't handwrite or use markers or crayons (you'd be surprised what people send us!).

Unformatted proposals with many typos are taken less seriously than more well-prepared ones.

Before turning in your proposal, we suggest you put it aside for a period of time. Then, take a good, hard, objective look at what you're about to submit. Is it a topic that someone will be interested in? Are people waiting for this book? Will someone read it? Have you presented the proposal in a professional manner? Are you qualified to write it? Sometimes it helps to have someone else read your proposal, whose detachment and objectivity may shed light on something you're too close to see.

Make sure you keep an original copy of what you've sent us. We can't be held responsible if something is lost in the mail or, worse yet, by us.

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