Survey Blog Blog


The Agent Research & Evaluation Guestbook is open for everyone to read. 

Contributions are welcome from any writer we have worked with, to share your experiences about how we treated you and what the outcome was. 

After you have written your message, please type in your PASSWORD and click once only on the "Send " button.  If you do not yet have a password, you can still email your contribution to  As ever, we promise never to publish your name or email address on this website, and our practice is only to use your first name and/or your initials in this Guestbook.



I would simply like to tell you that your services were well worth the money. You took the book seriously, studied it in depth and gave copiously of your knowledge and common sense. ...
I just wanted to let you know that your expertise and your efforts are much appreciated.... I may now have a mountain of work before me. But at least I know where the path leads.
J. McC
Austria  1/2012

I can't yet speak to the ultimate success or failure of my venture yet - I'm just now sending out the queries - but I can say that my work with Beverly has given me in a far better chance of success than I would have had without her efforts and wise counsel.  We've been through three processes together:  the personalized "fingerprint" list of recommended agents, editing the query letter, and her critique of the full manuscript.

For the list of agents, (seven, in my case) you pay for data and expertise that she has amassed over the years.  This allows you to pinpoint which agents are interested in the kind of books you write, and to target each query individually to each agent.  This method has every chance of being taken more seriously than some generic query.

Beverly also edited the query itself, and I must admit that when I got mine back there was red ink all over it.  Mine needed major surgery, and it got it.  Seeing the finished product, I am embarrassed to read over my original draft. for last.  She also agreed to read and critique my entire manuscript.  She told me the time frame she would devote to the process, and in the end she was spot on time.  The results were superb.  I feel like a cellist who's just completed a master class with Rostropovich.  She delineated precisely the flaws in my novel that I had not been consciously aware of, but when she pointed them out I knew immediately she was right.  I had serious issues of continuity, POV and lapses in style.  Some material needed to be added to fill out an important character, while other parts needed excising.

For the past month I've been working to put it right.  I don't yet know what will happen with this novel, but I know it has a chance now, simply because it's a far better book than it was before AR&E helped me repair it.

It's worth remembering that these lessons are not just one-offs for this book alone.  If I am successful, Beverly's advice will be present in every book I write.
RJH, 2010-10-19

One:  I think I will take a week to read and digest everything you wrote before I send a single query.  Two:  I think you were worth every penny.  Three:  I hope to claw my way out of the slag heap.  Thanks for your help, Beverly.
JPP, 2011-2-28

Thank you for this, Beverly. It's amazing work. I have just had a chance to do a cursory review but I can tell already that it will be incredibly helpful. I will certainly keep you in the loop.
PG, Indiana, 2009-05-19

I'm going over your material right now and I'm already ecstatic! Today is my birthday so it couldn't come at a better time.
Thank you for your hard work and I'll keep you posted on how it all pans out.
Steve, Canada, 2009-05-14

I've now had time to digest the file you sent me on Henry Morrison. I was so familiar with many of the writers and agents mentioned in the file. But to see the information turned into a narrative with facts and figures is like attending a graduate level program in publishing and agenting. I've tried to do my homework and learn the business but you and Bill have taken it to another level. I really appreciate the education. It's exciting, as if you have drawn back the curtain and showed me the soul of the machine.
JC, NY, 2009-04-30

Wonderful news!!!
Peter Steinberg haS sold my novel to Kendra Harpster at Viking! And the ILA agents he works with have sold it to Goldmann for the German edition, Salani for the Italian, and we're expecting an offer from Spain.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for helping me find this great agent. One more triumph for AR&E!!!
DH, North Carolina, 2009-03-25

Thank you for the carefully crafted and comprehensive report. I really feel like you got the sense of what my book is about, and now I feel like I have a great starting-point for pursuing agents. Thank you for your hard work. I'm excited to see where it leads me.
And I really appreciate the agent 101 info as well. Any advice is helpful at this point.
Wish me luck,
JK, NY, 2009-03-02

Dear Beverly and Bill:
In this ever-increasing cynical world, where a number of companies are not able to deliver on their promises, Agent Research & Evaluation, Inc. went way beyond the call of duty. WOW! I spent much of last night reading and rereading your report. I've now ranked them on my "wish" list. I'll say it again: Wow!. And I'm flattered that you'd pass along Henry Morrison's name. This man is obviously an icon in the industry. Here's a little irony: I watched The Bourne Identity on Sunday night and realized that Mr. Morrison was a producer on the film. Yes, that's irony.
Thanks again for all your help. I promise to keep you both in the loop. Cross those fingers and toes.
S B, NY, 2009-02-18

Good morning Bill,
A quick note to confirm I received the report. Very helpful and insightful. Many thanks. And please thank Beverly from me for her kind words re my novel.
Joe B, Valencia, Spain, 2009-02-14

Hi Beverly!
I received your fingerprint today and am thrilled! I read your opening letter and briefly looked thru the records of agents sent. I am excited to get going on this. This is more than I had hoped for! ... Thanks for everything, Beverly. This really is a full and detailed report.
J, California, 2008-10-25

Thank you most warmly for your excellent fingerprint report. I very much support your advic e and will let you know how things turn out.
It would have been impossible to find the chosen few without your help.
GW, England, 2008-06-25

I cannot thank you enough for your help, meticulous research and insight. Also your prompt response. You provide an invaluable service for aspiring novelists like myself who eat rejection daily --and yes, I can write.
Again, you are a godsend to writers everywhere.
Suzi, Nevada, 2008-06-17

The packet helped me see the strengths of those two agents, and to make comparisons moving forward. I will look over the others again as well.
But most of all, I so appreciate the generosity of spirit and your helpful guidance. It means so much coming from a writer with your track record and skill. I feel honored that you have taken time out of your own writing to help me move this book forward!
Ellen, New York, 2008-06-05

I can't thank you enough for the advice. It was an eye-opener!
Years ago, I had my first book represented by Jane Dystel, and she offered a contract. Since she is reputable, I thought that [new agent who doesn't use a contract] was not "playing by the rules" and that I'd be working for naught if she didn't like the revisions. But, thanks to you, I understand that this is accepted practice. I appreciate the advice as to what to say to her. I think she does want the book, but it can't hurt to ask.
Your advice is so valuable to authors. Sometimes I feel as though I'm out there all alone, and having you and Bill as a resource is truly a gift.
Best wishes,
Adrian, California, 2008-05-17

I think you are right on target with your analysis of self-publishing--I guess I needed to hear it from someone I trust. You are a class act and a credit to the profession of writers everywhere. I shan't forget you and the many things you brought to my writing, mostly great direction, spirited enthusiasm and lots of sunshine. I wish you every success in the world, and hope someday we can meet.
Break a leg with the new title!!
Jeff, Connecticut, 2008-04-28

Hi Beverly,
Thank you for your prompt reply. You amaze me: how do you have time to write your own books?
Your words in the Evaluation section of your report ring true, and your advice is sound.
Once more, thank you very much! You and Talking Agents are a marvelous resource.
E S, Kentucky, 2008-03-08

I received your packet this weekend, and I must tell you that I am very impressed with the breadth and scope of your research... You have included so many tips and jewels of advice that I never would have considered ... In addition, the extensive nature of the agent reports is jaw-dropping.
I truly appreciate your insider's point of view, and want to thank you for all of the effort you put into this report, as well as the supportive tone of your letter to me. I feel as though I now have a mentor guiding me through what has, historically, been a 'navigating by Ouija Board' process.
Thank you again for all of your hard work. You have exceeded my expectations.
NN, California, 2008-02-27

I've had a few weeks to study and digest the Customized Fingerprint Report that you prepared for me... I have to honestly comment that after decades of interactions between agencies and "services", AR&E delivers more that I ever expected in the report. For someone seriously pursuing their craft, this is much appreciated, invaluable service into the business end of publishing.
JT, California, 2007-12-02

The thoroughness of your report about bowled me over. I have read it and will read it again and again. It confirms for me the futility of my previous efforts. I did not know what the heck I was doing. Thank you, whatever the results of my queries. At the least I can know that I've sent the smartest queries I could make, even if I get nothing but rejections.
RD, Florida, 2007-09-18

Thank you so much for the report you sent. It was a lot more than I expected! I should have done this a long time ago. My prior attempt, especially in retrospect, was pretty random and ineffectual. I'm busy revising my query letter and condensing my book proposal. I'll be in touch with the results. Thank you again. Even if this doesn't fly, I know that I'll feel I have given it the best shot possible.
E R, California, 2007-08-31

Thank you for the thoroughness and thoughtfulness that went into the recommendations. Having an insider's perspective is so valuable--as you well know. You've given me new enthusiasm for this not-so-much fun part of the process. I appreciate your interest in what happens next, too. N.E. California
NE, 2007-08-22

I recieved your Customized Fingerprint, and I am VERY pleased with your work. Thank you for making my investment worthwhile. You are true professionals, and I'm very thankful for your hard work.
JC, Chicago, 2007-08-13

Hey Beverly, Just wanted to say thank you again for the great agent list you sent me. I have my book finally completed and polished and proofed and am just now putting together my query letter. You folks did an outstanding job fixing me up with all the details I need. Thanks again.
AH, California, 2007-06-25

Hi Beverly, Fingerprint arrived today and fulfils expectations. Helpful advice and feedback that makes me feel confident about pitching to agents. Also thank you for the encouraging words in your summary letter. I will most certainly keep you informed as to progress. Very best wishes.
SW, Brighton, England, 2007-05-14

Wow! Thank you so very much, Beverly! Again, I am just blown away by your expertise! Thank you so much for your help!!!
Anthony B, 2007-04-08

I've just received my Customized Fingerprint in the mail. I'm very pleased with the entire packet! I appreciate your work. In addition to the detailed information on the agents, I'm especially happy with the specific advice you've given me as to how to go about contacting the agent and presenting my work.
ADF, 2007-02-13

Beverly, I walked into our local Borders today - and there was your new book on the front and center table. Congratulations!! I was thrilled, and I can only guess how gratifying it must be for you. I was out of state visiting my daughter and her family over Christmas, but have been seriously going over the material you sent me since my return. I know that you do this professionally, but I was blown away by your astute remarks and obvious care in reading what I sent. Trying to follow your advice in writing a Query letter is a challenge, but I'll do my best. Thank you and Happy New Year! P.S. Of course I bought the book.
Carolin, 2007-01-11

Hi Beverly, I received your report yesterday, and I wanted to tell you how very pleased and impressed I am. I shall start working on my query letter this weekend and get it to you as soon as possible. One letter should do for all, do you think, just differing with regard to the specific data about the individual agents? Again, thanks so much.
JW, 2007-01-04

Jim Fitzgerald wants to represent the book. Your process worked. I should be getting a contract today from him and we've discussed the advance I'd need from a publisher, which he thought was reasonable. Another agent said no and three queries are still out. Ill keep you in the loop.
Rich, Atlanta, 2006-11-30

Just to let you know the material arrived safely and I am delighted with the meticulousness of your work. Brava! Thanks again for a job really well done.
Marianne, 2006-11-28

(name withheld) already responded to an e-mailed query letter and synopsis. He says it is an "intriguing" story but questions its commercial viability....huh? A legal thriller? well, anyway, he wants to see the first three chapters. I found that very encouraging. Given an agent of that caliber, how often does someone like that ask to see part of a ms? thanks--no matter the outcome, I wouldn't have gotten even this far without y'all.
Jim, 2006-10-12

Dear Bill, I found exactly what i needed and i really appreciate your service, i will be subscribing to it, you do a great service for the new writer, keep it up
RLL, 2006-09-29

This is to let you know that your Customized Report reached me yesterday. It shows a lot of research and thought. You have delivered on your promise of doing your level best for me. Your suggestion that I consider a YA market caught me by surprise. I'm still reeling, but think you may be right.
Ed, 2006-09-18

Thanks, Beverly, I feel really heartened by what you had to say. I’m so glad I found your service! I will continue to work on the last part of the précis. Your suggestions are terrific. Best,
Ellen, 2006-09-11

I just wanted to drop a thank you for the report. You offered me invaluable advice that has made my query package stronger. The agents you sent me sound terrific and hopefully they'll love my novel. I'll let you know what happens. Thank you again.
Adrianna, 2006-09-01

Hello Beverly/Bill: Just received the packet - it's terrific. I certainly wouldn't have been able to glean a tenth as much from the web.
AS, 2006-08-18

I signed with Faye Bender, who is quite eager and enthusiastic... she will present my proposal... to a dozen or more editors... I never would have gotten here without you and thanks so much...
M, 2006-07-27

Your newsletter is the best one out there-)...
Cheryl, 2006-07-04

Hi Beverly/Bill, I do want to mention how pleased I am with the names you sent me. I don't think I would have dared to approach them 'on my own'. And each one of them has something that really does appeal to me and fits the kind of book I wrote. Thanks for the thought you put into it.
Lieneke, 2006-06-25

I like the questions you are asking me. I wanted to let you know how thrilled I am with your report. I think it is a great service you are providing. I'm excited to get going on your suggestions. Thanks again.
Andrew, 2006-06-06

Please tell Beverly that her evaluation was just terrific. Really a first-rate assessment of exactly what I need in an agent. Like the Chinese say, "If you want to learn how to cook, first learn how to hold the knife."
Gregory, 2006-05-16

Dear Beverly, I received your WONDERFUL report yesterday. I'm so excited to have this direction. I've read everything through, digested, highlighted, etc., and feel ready to create my packets... Thanks again, I really am impressed.
Marie, 2006-05-16

Agent Research & Evaluation should be your first stop if you’re looking for a literary agent. I used to be Dean of Admissions at a top ten law school. AR&E found me the top five agents for a book on the subject... I was taken on by my first choice... The book was auctioned and Harcourt took it for mid five figures...
Anna, 2006-05-11

Dear Bill & Beverly Martin....just wanted to thank you for the work you did on my customized fingerprint--for the six agent contacts, and for all of your encouragement and advice...I feel pretty confident that I was able to tweak my proposal in the manner in which you suggested...what's more, after working on this book for eleven long years--the longest I've ever worked on anything--I'm actually feeling very excited about it again...Thanks so much.
Anne, 2006-05-02

I realize AR&E is a business, but from my perspective, the Martins run it with the personal touch of a family-operated neighborhood store. They keep their clients’ hopes and aspirations foremost in mind. I have always received more than what I paid for. (How rare is that?) D K, author of Pandemic from Tor Books.
Dan K, 2006-04-09

Dear Beverly, I have received the fingerprint and am well pleased with it. It is both illuminating and encouraging. Thank you for letting me know that I have been querying the wrong agents, for the most part. It does help to take the sting out of the rejections.
John, 2006-04-05

I can't believe I"m two for two with AR&E's suggestions... at least the agents are looking at it. Even if they don't pursue it, I have to believe that AR&E is the reason they're even taking a gander.
James, 2006-03-29

Bill Martin’s Talking Pages newsletter continues to give me a unique insight into the world of agents. I’m based in a UK seaside town, but the guys at AR&E make me feel like I’m there at the heart of things where it matters, where the movers and shakers really make things happen. And AR&E uses real spit on real stamps for real hand-written envelopes. Priceless.
Max, 2006-03-21

Dear Beverly, I am soooo excited. The Golden Girls meet Sex in the City? And Chick lit? It all feels so right and so wonderful finally to know what I have. Beverly, it took you to tell me what I'm doing! Finally, I feel in good hands (albeit not my own). Alright, I know there are no promises, but your powerful input, energy, and professional assessment is so worth the cost of the service already. Thank you. Now that I realize I've been targeting the wrong sector, I can't wait to get to the right sector. I'm going to recommend your services. Best,
Pat, 2006-03-17

"I want to thank you for sending me in the direction of Bill and Beverly Martin. I have just received my superdooper fingerprint and it looks very promising. I am amazed at the amount of thought they put into these reports."
RP, 2006-03-10

THANK YOU for all of your excellent work. I landed my first agent within days of writing to her following your guidelines. As a result, Joshua's Bible was published by Warner Books...
Shelly L. 2006-03-06

Bill & Beverly, My Custom Fingerprint arrived yesterday and exceeds my expectations. I am so pleased, thank you!
Eunice B, 2006-02-28

I wanted to thank you for the extensive work you have executed on my behalf. The process of finding an appropriate agent (actually any at all) is overwhelming. You have helped me focus my search in a way that I could not have accomplished without your professional help and expertise. I trust your choices and judgments...because of the information you've provided me, I feel that I can use my time wisely in finding a great agent. And as a result, I can also concentrate on my current writing. Thanks again, it's a real pleasure to be associated with you and hopefully, share my future success with you as well.
Eric, 2006-02-22

This kind of personal service is like something before the days of the internet... but it's fun to meet people, and especially nice when you can do something for someone else, so I think you may have the ideal job. I look forward to hearing from you.
Linda, 2006-02-16

An agent has recently voiced interest in my work. This is a wonderful service you supply. On behalf of myself and every other author out there who’s trying to get a foot in without being taken for a ride, Thank you. Sincerely,
Anita H, 2006-02-08

Dear Beverly and Bill, I am writing to thank you for all your help. I have officially signed the (new agency) contract and could not be happier. As you know, I parted company with my former agent after two successful book contracts and a movie deal with Walt Disney. I was looking for a major agent in New York City and a friend suggested I contact you guys. After a customized fingerprint, I was in New York meeting with agents. I have never felt so supported in my life. Although I was not comfortable fielding calls and emails from some of the top agents in the industry, YOU never let them see me sweat! I am sure you get letters like this all the time but I did not want to move on without thanking you. Changing agents is not an easy move, but you made it smoother than I ever imagined it would be. I will be recommending your service to all of my colleagues who are seeking effective representation.
Salome T, 2006-01-14