DOUBLE-R BOOKS - Publisher of books in paperback, hardcover, and ebook formats in the Disney themed genre.

 
Home About FAQ Media Catalog Reviews Authors Buy
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Dealing with Literary Agencies

 

 
Query Letters and Book Proposals

 
 
 

Q. What is our commission structure?

A. Our authors are under contract and receive a royalty on sales.

We give all our authors a very fair royalty share on books-in-print and eBooks, based on the 'net sums' we receive from sales. It is difficult to determine and set a hard fast rule, so all we can say at is that each contract is different, based on the popularity of the author, as well as the book being published. A new unknown author will of course receive a lower royalty than a very popular author, but as the new author gains market share we adjust the royalty to fit accordingly.

back to top

Q. Do I need an agent?

A. We think the answer to that question is, "it depends." A lot of houses won’t look at unsolicited or unagented manuscripts so then the answer would be yes, you do. However, the editors of some genres (such as Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy) will look at all submissions so then the answer is no, you don’t.

But here’s our question to readers. Have you ever seen a publishing contract? Would you even know how to navigate it? Do you understand what the grant of rights clause is asking? Do you know how to limit an option clause? Do you understand the real meaning behind the language in a standard publishing out-of-print clause?

Chances are good that you said NO to all of the above. Then chances are good you may want to hire an agent. A good agent doesn’t just sell your book; a good agent guides your whole career. That is well worth more than our commissions.

back to top

Q. How do I get an agent?

A. Here’s the dirty little secret about publishing. It’s just like any other career—network, network, network. The days of the isolated writer hammering out great works of art and being discovered are over. In fact, those days never really existed.

For Fiction: If you have no previous publications, be sure to write a really good query letter and then follow it up with submitted sample pages that will knock the socks off of an agent. Lots of new clients are plucked from the slush pile. If you write genre Fiction, be sure to join the appropriate organizations such as Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America to name a few. Network with other writers at conferences. Recommendations by previously published authors carry weight. Join a writers’ group. If writing Literary Fiction, get noticed by submitting your writing to literary magazines and contests. Build up those credentials. Also, graduates of prestigious MFA programs are pursued by agents because that literary fiction can be sold to editors.

For nonfiction: Credentials are everything—especially for business or self-help books. It is very difficult to sell a nonfiction proposal to a major house unless you have an established platform consisting of the following:

  • Published articles in your field
  • Media contacts in TV and radio
  • A syndicated column
  • At least 30-50 scheduled lecture dates a year
  • An affiliation with a known and respected university

More Tips on Getting an Agent:

  • Do your background research! We are open to folks contacting us by query via email because we enjoy new writers; however, it’s frustrating when agents receive material that doesn't fit what they represent.
  • The best way to get an agent is to be referred to him or her by a client, industry person, or a friend. Finagle an introduction! They should be gracious when meeting writers. If an agent is not, then you would not want that person to represent you anyway!
  • The next best way is to meet an agent at a writers’ conference or a publishing-related event.
  • The last way to get an agent is to research the various resources regarding the topic and then submit a query. Be sure to check out an agent’s website, if there is one, for the most up-to-date information regarding a submission.

back to top

Q. Should an agent live in New York?

A. There are many terrific agents in New York, and there are many terrific agents who are not located there. To a degree it can be beneficial to have a New York location, but location makes less of a difference in the age of FedEx, email, fax, and excellent phone service. We are primarily located in California, previously we had a New York address, but we found that we can accomplish the same goals in California as we can in New York.

back to top

Q. What should I expect from an agent?

A. Consideration, respect, and good customer service regarding communication.

Good agents:

  • return calls or emails promptly.
  • treat clients as the reason why they exist in the first place.
  • keep clients informed of the status of submissions.
  • remit payments to clients quickly.
  • keep client money in a secure account.
  • don’t charge reading fees or participate in other money-making avenues such as charging for “consultations.”

back to top

Q. What pitfalls should be avoided when contacting agents?

A. Try following these guidelines:

  1. Agents are people too! Please be courteous and respectful, and we will do the same in return.
  2. Not all agents think alike. If someone is disrespectful to you, take that as a sign that his/her agency is not for you.
  3. When contacting any agent, always be extremely professional. This means using professional writing approaches for all communications—either by snail mail or email.
  4. Please do not call. It’s impossible for any agent to ascertain your writing ability by talking to you on the phone. It is also very annoying and won’t win you points with an agent you are trying to woo.

If you are a terrific writer with solid credentials, finding an agent will be straight-forward and fairly easy.

back to top

Q. How do I write an attention-getting query letter?

A. Good query letters are one page or two pages tops. You should be able to summarize your novel or nonfiction project in a one pitch sentence or in one short paragraph—like a summary on the back cover of a book.

If YOU can’t write this, then we won’t be able to either, so it won’t sell.

Query letter breakdown by paragraph:

  1. Introduction: explain why you are contacting our agency. Were you referred? Why are we the agency for this project?
  2. Manuscript pitch: what is your novel or nonfiction proposal?
  3. Credentials: for fiction, what is your writing background, stories sold, programs attended, mentors, awards, etc. For nonfiction, Why are you the person to write this book? What are your credentials?
  4. Conclusion: Thank the agent for taking the time to read your materials, etc.

back to top

Q. I sent an email query to your agency but have not received a response, or I sent a requested partial and have not received a response. Why?

A. For email queries, if you have not received a response after three (3) weeks, then something might have gone wrong in the cyber world. Is your email account still active? Are emails to you being spam-filtered? Our reply to you might have bounced or been deleted. We send our response electronically so check your spam folder.

back to top

Q. What are some query DOs and DON'Ts?

A.

DOs:

  1. Do email queries and save on stamp costs.
  2. Do be professional and brief in your query.
  3. Do highlight your relevant background or publishing credentials.
  4. Do take the time to hone and then highlight your one or two sentence pitch or hook.
  5. Do take only one paragraph to summarize the rest of your work-following the grab-your-attention style found on the back cover of books.
  6. Do thank the agent for reviewing your query.

DON'Ts:

  1. Don't address your letter "To Whom it May Concern."
  2. Don't use an unusually small font.
  3. Don't immediately send another email query if an agent has just rejected your first.
  4. Don't use cutesy fonts or backgrounds.
  5. Don't query more than one work at a time.
  6. Don't forget to include the title of your work in the query.
  7. Don't be unclear as to whether your project is fiction or nonfiction.
  8. Don't CC a bunch of other agents on your email query. Send the email to one agent at a time.

back to top

Q. How do I write a good book proposal?

A. Good book proposals are not lengthy. After all, editors (and agents!) are always short on time.

Excluding the outline and the sample chapter, try to limit the actual proposal to 12 pages. Include the following sections:

  • Introduction
  • Overview
  • The Market
  • Competition
  • Publicity and Promotion
  • About the Author

If you are unsure of how to write a good book proposal, then be proactive and learn what you need to know. Here is a good resource to help:

 
 

Double-R Books is a publisher of books in paperback, hardcover, and ebook formats, mainly in the Disney themed genre.

Double-R Books in-print titles have worldwide book distribution on Amazon (holding a 56% market share on book sales) and in Barnes & Noble Bookstores. Ebook titles have worldwide book distribution on Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, the Apple Bookstore, Kobo Books, Overdrive, and other online bookstores.

Double-R Books Publishing is a member of Association of American Publishers with colleagues including Disney, Random House, Harpercollins, Harvard and Colombia University Press, and more.

Our Authors are provided with expert book publishing and book distribution services, and very fair royalties.

If you are interested in learning more about how Double-R Books Publishing can publish your Literary works, please contact us.


Submit your Query

 
Copyright DOUBLE-R BOOKS


please report problems on this site to the Webmaster
All rights reserved.