Tips for Writers: Submitting Your Work to an Agent
Tessa David, an associate agent at Peters Fraser + Dunlop representing a wide range of fiction and non-fiction, shares her top tips for submitting to an agent.
- The covering letter: Don’t worry about attaching a letter but do make sure your covering email is concise and well-written
- The blurb vs the synopsis: Your blurb should be in the body of the email and, much like that on the back of a book, should be designed to catch attention and pique curiosity, without giving too much away. The synopsis should be attached, along with the first three chapters, and provide a full summary of the plot.
- Comparisons: If you can think of a good comparison in terms of your work/ writing style then make it. Describing your book as a cross between x and y can be very useful. But if you If you can’t think of one, don’t make one up for the sake of it.
- The opening chapter is everything: Make sure your opening chapter is polished and the best it can possibly be. It is no good having a ropey chapter and then ramping up the standard in the second and third. If the first one isn’t brilliant an agent may stop reading.
- The blurb (pitch) is the key. This is what will make an agent fast-track your book to the top of their reading pile. Definitely include a brief couple of sentences about your background but focus on polishing your blurb. This is what is important.