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#1 Nick

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 09:06 AM

My question is do you look for an agent when your book (cookbook) is 100% completed? I need someone to do the pictures and correct any syntax errors (proof reading) I guess. Is this something the agent does? Orthe publisher? or do I find someone to do this prior to writing a query?

#2 tbow77

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 09:43 AM

Hi Nick,

Before you query an agent you will need a completed book proposal. Agent query can help. Terry Whalin has a great book for proposals at: http://www.bookproposals.ws/ and Michael Hyatt has a downloadable proposal template for 19.97 at: http://michaelhyatt....g-book-proposal. I've done two proposals using Michael's template. You should do a basic edit on your book manuscript.

Ted

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#3 Nick

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:03 AM

Thank you! I appreciate it.

#4 Litgal

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 02:44 PM

Since you are talking non-fiction you can certainly look for an agent without a finished manuscript and I see others have given you appropriate advice on book proposals. Just a couple of points:

1) In general, illustrations/photos/maps in a non-fiction book must be arranged for and obtained by the author at his/her expense. This is true with academic books but also with popular non-fiction (ask our own CT Taylor who sold a steampunk craft book). You can take the pictures yourself or have them done professionally (with money from your advance).

2) Agents certainly critique books but they are not line/copy editors. Your manuscript needs to be in good shape before an agent/publisher ever sees it.
Lit. (aka Sophie Perinot)

#5 Nick

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 08:15 AM

Thank you site moderator. So I'm not confused here it is possible to send out a query (assuming book is in good shape)and get an advance and use that money for an illustrator etc? And the other question i have is if you do get an offer can you negotiate the cash advance without offending the agent?
Thanks so much!

#6 C. Taylor

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 10:53 AM

What you would likely do is put together a non-fiction book proposal (using the normal guidelines), and then query agents with the proposal. From there, they submit the proposal to publishers. If you're lucky enough to get a book deal, you then write the book, and take all the pictures. My publisher sent me a video series of how to take a decent photo for their purposes, so I invested in a good camera (probably better than I needed), and took my own photos, making sure to take A LOT of photos, so I'd at least have a decent one for each step of my project.

As for what you do with your advance, the publisher doesn't care as long as they get the book and pictures/illustrations needed for the book. Regarding negotiating an advance, that's what your agent does. Hope this helps! : )

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#7 mwsinclair

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 02:29 PM

Sorry I didn't see this one til today. You've gotten excellent advice so far. As a general point, you don't need to have a nonfiction book completely written when you query agents (exception is memoir, but that's not your topic here). As Calista, Lit, and tbow77 point out you'll want your proposal ready to go, and that takes time.

You'll also need to establish in that proposal why you're the right person to write that book. The agent will want to know what kind of readership you're bringing to the table (are you a chef, for instance?) If it's a quirky cookbook, you might be able to get some interest, but again, you'll need to state your case for why you're the right person for the job and demonstrate that there's a readership for it and why current cookbooks on the topic aren't quite fitting the bill any more.

#8 Nick

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 07:41 PM

I can't thank you guys&gals enough! great advice!




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