project is of such superior quality that Beverly is
willing to put her own hard-earned reputation on the line (check out
her bona fides) along with that of
AR&E, and personally ask a particular agent to read a submission.
In the end the agent may or may not agree to represent the manuscript,
and he or she may or may not successfully sell it, but it has
definitely been read by a few agents (three or four is the usual
number) who are absolutely right for the project. Your MS has been
singled-out and thus leapfrogged the slush pile.
As one agent said
recently when we congratulated him on the major sale
of a client's debut work, 'You folks have become the matchmakers for
the matchmakers. I think that's cool.'
So do we. But as you
can imagine, we can't recommend the work of every
writer who approaches us. In fact, we are enormously selective. That's
why this succeeds, and why the agents value our assertion that of all
the unsolicited mss flooding their inboxes, this one is worthy of
We've been doing this
for years, but lately we've been asked to do so
more and more frequently (all those out-of-work journalists out there
deciding it's finally time to do a book-length work?) and we've decided
to experiment with codifying this very special leg-up.
We can't rely on a
questionnaire for this; we have to actually take a
look at the ms. Please realize, this isn't a full-bore,
read-every-single word, in-depth probe; it's a highly skilled
professional analysis of whether or not this particular piece of work
may be worthy of us and the agent spending what for each of us is our
most valuable capital, time.
If, in our sole
judgment, this is not the case, we're not going to charge
you a penny and we're not going to explain why we will not recommend
the ms. (If that's what you really
want, see Manuscript Analysis.)
Will you get an
agent? We can't say, and certainly we can no more
guarantee that you'll be picked up than an agent can guarantee to sell
your work. What we can promise on the basis of past performance is that
the agents we approach on your behalf will take a serious look at your
material. In other words, you will have avoided the slush pile.
Getting your MS read
is what we're going to charge you for. (Meaning our
fee isn't dependent on your actually being taken on by an agent, much
less having that agent sell your work.) When you send us your MS (as an
e-mail attachment, after we have discussed the possibilities) we will
ask you to give us your credit card number either by telephone or fax.
If, after examining the MS, Beverly does not feel she can recommend it,
no charge will be made. If she is going to go forward, we will charge
your card $725.00 after at least one of the three or four agents you
and Beverly have decided to approach agrees to read the full MS or
proposal. (The mathematicians among you will have figured out that's
twice the cost of the Customized Fingerprint Report - this takes at
least twice as much time). To discuss this service further please
in your email.