All queries must be submitted through Query Manager. Visit our Agents page to determine who will be the best fit for your work. Please do not query more than one agent at Ladderbird at a time. If two agents like your work it could result in bloodshed and we try to keep that to a minimum. Each agent uses their own Query Me page, (links can be found after their bios). Make sure you're sending your work to the right person.
Please fill in all questions in Query Manager.
Here are some helpful hints:
- Short Bio. Include your writing credentials, but also include something about yourself. If you were a former foot model, we want to hear that! We like to get to know our authors. This bio should be no more than four or five sentences.
- Brief Synopsis of the Work. Make sure your synopsis covers the major plot points, but don't get sidetracked by all your wonderful subplots. We'll learn about those in the manuscript. Also, please make sure your synopsis gives a feel for who your characters are and what their individual arcs are. The inimitable Jane Friedman offers some excellent advice. Please take a look if you're having difficulty coming up with just the right words. How to Write a Novel Synopsis
- Several Current Comps. Almost as bad as writing the synopsis, right? And what's worse, not every agent likes them. But we do! We want books that are on the market and share themes, or touch the same audience. Eric Smith gives a nice take on how to figure out what to comp. How to Find Comps
If you're having trouble, email us at email@example.com.
Just like Fiction Queries, we need you to fill out all the forms in Query Manager. If we send you a request for the full proposal, here is what we're looking for:
- Bio, including credentials. Why are you qualified to write on this particular subject, what skills, history, etc... do you bring to the table?
- Query Letter. Much like fiction, we need a query to give us a brief idea of what the book is about and why it's important. As always Jane Friedman offers sagely advice. How to Write a Nonfiction Query Letter
- Purpose and Need. This can be anywhere from a couple of paragraphs to a whole page describing the intention of the project and what gap in the market it is serving. Who needs to read this and why?
- Synopsis of the Work. This needs to tell us exactly what the project is about and should be between one and three pages.
- Chapter Outline. We like annotated outlines where the premise of each chapter is given in a paragraph or two.
- Target Audience. This should be a few paragraphs to a page on who the likely audience is for this book. Be as specific as possible. Are there people who watch certain shows or read certain books? Think about any crossover appeal your project has and who your secondary audience might be.
- Several Current Comps. We like to see at least five good comps, but no more than ten. Write a paragraph or so for each book explaining why they are similar to your project and what space your project fills in that is not covered by the comp.
- Author Platform. So important for nonfiction! We have had really wonderful authors forget to include this information and have sadly had to pass on otherwise very worthy projects. Don't let that be you! We want to know your social media outreach (including if you have followers with their own large followings who are excited about your project); are you on any boards in related fields where you might sell your project; have you won any related awards; do you have any secondary interests that might crossover. Give us as much as you can!
- Potential Endorses. You've told us all about you, now who else are you going to reach out to that will endorse and promote the book? Are you best friends with a celebrity? Do you hang out in a group chat with an internet influencer who said that they're dying to see this project on the shelves? Do you play pool with a great book reviewer? We want to know all of it.
- One-Three Sample Chapters. These need to be the first chapters of the project, and they should really showcase your writing. We want compelling, beautiful writing that hooks us from page one!
Any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.