Securing a literary agent gets harder every year, as more and more writers seek representation for their novels. Because of this, agents only have so much time to look at submissions. The agent query pack you send them is your first and often only chance to impress an agent, and any mistakes could cost you your dream agent.
By having your agent query pack proofread, you make sure there are no spelling mistakes, punctuation errors, or typos distracting agents from what’s really important: your story.
Agents aren’t expecting your query pack to be perfect, but the cleaner it is, the more they can focus on the story. A cover letter riddled with mistakes reduces the likelihood that they’ll read your synopsis or extract. If your extract has all kinds of punctuation and spelling problems, it’s going to take longer to edit, and that time could be spent on someone else’s more polished novel.
Proofreading keeps your writing yours while correcting spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes. Unlike editing, proofreading is a final quality check, so you don’t have to worry about your story being changed.
I offer agent query pack proofreading to aspiring authors so you feel more confident with the querying process.
What is proofreading?
If you’re like most authors seeking literary representation, you might not know what proofreading is.
Proofreading checks for and corrects:
- Spelling mistakes and typos
- Problems with grammar
- Missing and incorrect punctuation
- Consistency problems
- Formatting mistakes
As the author, you retain complete control of your writing. If you don’t agree with a correction, you don’t need to keep it.
Why agent query pack proofreading is for you
Proofreading isn’t for everyone, though your story will be proofread eventually. Every book published traditionally goes through proofreading after the formatting stage.
So why get your query pack proofread?
Querying literary agents is a long, slow process full of rejections. If you want to make the most of every query, proofreading strengthens your submission. Spelling and punctuation should blend into your writing, not distract the reader.
The last person you want to distract is your potential literary agent!
If you’re like most authors, you want your book to be published as soon as possible. You don’t want to wait months or even years to get a literary agent. If you can impress the first agents you contact from the beginning, you’ll cut down on your waiting time.
Improving your chances of getting a literary agent
While proofreading is the last step before sending your agent query pack, there are other ways to improve your chances of impressing literary agents.
- how to find a literary agent in the UK
- agent query letter tips for aspiring authors
- sample query cover letters for fantasy, romance, and queer fiction
If you can afford it, the best way to improve your agent query pack is to pay for feedback, whether you use Jericho Writers’ review service or schedule an agent one-to-one meeting.
IAM In Print runs regular agent one-to-ones, where you pay to have a meeting with a literary agent. They’ll give you feedback on your query pack and might even have some extra insight into how an agent sees your story. Sometimes you’ll even be asked to send your full manuscript to them!