5 Tips for Submitting Additional Requested Material to a Literary Agent


When an agent requests additional material, such as your book proposal, it is important to remain as professional and responsive as when you sent the initial query.

1. Send the requested material immediately.
Agents report they are perplexed when authors send material weeks or even months after it has been requested. If an agent is intrigued enough by your query to want to learn more about your nonfiction project, send it immediately. Do not wait. If you do you risk the agent losing interest, forgetting about you and your book, or deciding that you are unprofessional and not worth representing.

2. Send the requested material via priority delivery service.
The purpose of using a priority delivery service is to ensure the material arrives in a timely manner to the right destination (on the agent’s desk and not in the assistant’s “slush pile”).

3. Include a copy of the agent’s request.
Often an intern or assistant will open the package. Inserting a copy of the agent’s request for your material, along with a copy of the original query letter or a brief cover letter, indicates the material was requested and ensures it will be delivered directly to the agent for review.

4. Send only what is requested.
Be sure to send exactly what the agent has requested. Remember, following an agent’s instructions demonstrates that you are a professional author who is easy to work with.

5. Consider making requested revisions.
Sometimes after reviewing the additional requested material, an agent will respond with a request asking you to make specific changes to your proposal and then to resubmit it. You will need to consider whether you wish to make the changes, if the revisions will benefit the material or project, and if you wish to continue to pursue possible representation from the agent. When an agent takes the time to comment on your material, it is usually because he feels there is good potential for selling the book and he is seriously considering representing you. If you feel comfortable with the agent’s requests, then it may be in your best interest to make the revisions and resubmit the material for a second consideration.


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