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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 people you want to distract are prospective literary agents!

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.

I’ve written:

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 package 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!

Frequently asked questions about agent query pack proofreading

An agent query pack consists of three things: a cover letter, a synopsis of your story, and an extract of your manuscript. The extract is usually described as the first 3 chapters or first 10,000 words of your novel.

Because I’ll be proofreading all three parts of your submission pack, my agent query pack proofreading service costs £35.

Some writers will have really clean query packs where there aren’t many corrections to make. Other writers will have a lot of corrections made. My service costs the same because I’m investing the same time, resources, and experience every time.

If you’d like feedback, I’m happy to give you my thoughts on how to improve your query pack further. I don’t give feedback on your story. Instead, I’ll suggest ways to strengthen your cover letter and synopsis.

I want to support you until you get published, so I will proofread unlimited agent query cover letters! Provided you’ve paid for the service, you can contact me via email with new cover letters to proofread whenever you like. I’ll strive to email you back within 2 weeks.

If you want to get critiques on your agent query pack, you should get them done before proofreading. If you’re paying for a critique service, you probably don’t need to also pay for proofreading unless you think you need it.

If you’re part of a writing group, you can ask other writers to critique your query pack. Otherwise, Jericho Writers has a review service.

Nothing can guarantee you get literary representation. Proofreading only improves your chances by polishing your query pack. Agents and publishers aren’t going to turn you down just for having mistakes in your submission package – they need to be interested in the content. Too many errors can make it difficult for agents and publishers to read through what you’ve written.

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