Writing Books/agents



I have a question. Is it okay to send out simultaneous queries to agents for a non-fiction book proposal? If they request to see the proposal, can I send it to several agents at the same time?  If I send a proposal to an agent and then tell another agent that I will send it to them if the first agent rejects it, doesn't that work against me? And what if another agent asks to see the proposal and I like their agency better? Help!

Thanks for your advice, Jill

Dear Jill:
It is perfectly acceptable to simultaneous submit query letters to agents if you tell them in the letter that you are doing so.

However, I would not simultaneously submit a requested proposal.  If you do get more than one request to submit a proposal for your nonfiction book, pick the agent you want to work with the most and send it only to that one.  When you receive a response from the first agent and it is a no, then submit to the next agent on your list.

You are also right that to let one agent know that your proposal is out to someone else and they will only get it if the first agent rejects it is a no-no.

It's a hurry up and wait business, Jill.  I'm just thankful that we can simultaneously submit queries!

Good luck!  Let me know how you make out!

Liz Aleshire

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Liz Aleshire


What is a book proposal and why do I need one? Do I need a book proposal for both nonfiction and fiction books? How do I write a book proposal? What are the required components of a book proposal? What is an overview? What is a synopsis? How do I find out what other books are available on my topic so I can make my book different? How do I pitch to an agent/publisher? What's a query letter? What's a 30-second commercial?


I am the author of four nonfiction books: Private Lives of Ministers' Wives (with Rev. Sherry Taylor,New Horizon Press, New Jersey, 1991)and currently working on a second edition; Bugs: Stingers, Suckers, Sweeties, Swingers (a FRanklin Watts Frist Book, Chicago, 1993); The Confident Collector Identification and Price Guid to Quilts (with Kathleen Barach, Avon Books, NY, 1992); and, Official Price Guide to Quilts 2nd edition(with Kathleen Barach, Random House, NY, 2003.) I've taught How to Write the Book Proposal for the past ten years at the week long International Women's Writing Guild annual summer conference, and, at the Manchester Community College Continuing Education program. I've taught in many local continuing education programs in central Connecticut. Five authors have sold books using my methods for writing the book proposal. I have spoken at the Big Apple Conference, an IWWG event held in NYC; both Connecticut chapters of the Romance Writer's of America other writing conferences

Internation Women's Writing Guild, past associate member American Society of Journalists and Authors

Books for New Horizon Press. NJ; Franklin Watts (Now Scolastic)Danbury, CT; Avon Books, NYC; and, Random House, NYC

B.A in Economics from the University of Connecticut

Past/Present clients
Carren Strock, author Married Women Who Love Women; Doris Larson, travel writer, Ohio; MaryLou Streznewsi author Gifted Grownups.

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