Frequently Asked Questions
I want to be part of the PLGB team. How do I query you?
Please check out our Submission Requirements for guidance.
Should I query more than one agent at the agency?
No. Submit only one query per project.
How do I get in touch?
You can find our email address here. We definitely prefer email to snail mail. Its better if you don't call, we are working to get mss evaluated, edited and published. Any time spent on unsolicited phone calls takes us away from the business of representing our writers.
How much does it cost to submit to you?
Nothing. No legit agency charges fees. It’s against the Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR) Canon of Ethics to charge reading fees.
When we've sold your ms, our commission on a book sale is the industry standard 15% (Subsidiary rights commission percentages vary.)
What should a query look like?
A brief cover letter or email, with your experience and publishing credits and any interesting or pertinent facts, plus your contact information. A synopsis and brief writing sample (no more than a chapter.)
Can I submit to you if I’ve also submitted to other agents?
No. We will only consider a mss if no other agents are currently being queried. If we ask to look at your work, we require a 2-3 weeks exclusive, when you don't allow other agents to view the complete work.
Can I submit to publishers and agents simultaneously?
No. An agent taking on a project can’t manage a submission if the author's working at similar or (more likely) cross purposes. If your book is with an editor, you should mention how that contact came about and who has it in your query. Please let us know if the work has already been submitted to editors, and to whom.
How long should my writing sample be?
Generally a chapter is good. The first chapter is what we prefer.
How long should my actual book be?
An average adult project will be in the 80-120,000 word range; young adult might be 50-75,000 words. However there really isn’t a definitive answer to the question. A 50,000 word Epic fantasy doesn't make sense; a 250,000 word YA novel probably doesn't either.
That said, there are always exceptions to rules!
I sent a query. How long should I wait to hear back?
6-8 weeks. We try to respond to everything, but with the number of queries we receive, things sometimes fall through the cracks. If you haven’t heard within that time, please resubmit and let us know that you had tried to reach us before.
My query worked! You requested my material, but now how long should I wait before I follow up?
Two months, unless there is an different period specified.
You turned me down. Can you tell me more about why?
Unfortunately, the volume of submissions we receive makes it impossible for us to offer feedback on individual projects. But don't give up!
Keep writing and submitting. Perseverance is probably the single most important quality a writer can cultivate.
What kind of shot do I have here? What percentage of the projects you consider do you actually take on?
Realistically, less than 1% of the queries we receive progress to publicatiuon. Daunting odds, but if you believe strongly enough in your work, you'll try us anyway.
What happens if we don’t find a publisher?
It sometimes takes a while, but we always keep trying, We had to send John Grisham's first novel A Time to Killl to 43 houses before it finally found a home. We generally don't give up on a work and writer we believe in enough to sign.
How long does it take?
There’s no hard and fast rule here, but it’s rarely going to be less than 2-3 years from your first query to publication. You have to find an agent; together develop the project till it’s ready for submission. We have to submit it, a deal has to be negotiated and a contract signed, cover design, additional copy-editing, proofreading, layout, etc. Beyond all that, publishers will need time from the point that the manuscript is accepted (after you’ve worked on it with your editor) to actually launch, position, market, and publicize the book. Many, many, many authors take far more than 2-3 years from the point they hit send on the first query.
I’m a playwright, screenwriter, or poet.
We do not represent plays, screenplays, or poetry, except for those of our signed clients.
Do you represent illustrators?
We do not represent commercial or editorial illustrators. However, we do occasionally represent author/illustrators in the children’s picture book market. Please note, though, that we are only interested in professional-level illustrators with a proven track record who can also write—if you are an author who likes to draw or paint but does not have any professional illustration credentials, we would not be the right agent for you.