A little research can take a writer a long way. This month I talked with agent Rita Rosenkranz about what authors need to know before they send a query letter to an agent.
A former editor at major New York publishing houses, Ms. Rosenkranz founded Rita Rosenkranz Literary Agency in 1990. She represents adult non-fiction about health, history, parenting, music, how-to, popular science, business, biography, popular reference, cooking, spirituality and general interest titles.
What groundwork should a writer do before contacting an agent to pitch a book idea?
I’d suggest that authors investigate thoroughly the competition for their book, which includes the titles that are now considered classics and that all readers interested in this subject will buy, as well as the titles that are fresh on the market and are drawing attention. I handle non-fiction and most of the time I sell a project on the basis of a proposal and not a complete manuscript. When an author pitches me, either at a conference or through a query letter, I expect the author to understand the book’s place in the category, with the competition in mind. I prefer that the proposal is ready (or at least close to ready) to submit if I’m interested. Read More