A checklist of a few things we find unhelpful in proposals...

1. Proposal emails that don’t tell us enough about you.  This is your chance to give us all relevant information about your self – experience, ambitions as a writer or illustrator, the nature of your work.

2. Proposal emails from writers without a three sentence synopsis of the proposed book at the head. This synopsis gives us a thumbnail sketch of what we are looking at – and it’s a pitch that may be useful to you as well.

3. Emails, letters or telephone calls that ask us whether we’re happy to read or look at work. We look at all proposals in our fields of interest. Send the work – don’t waste time with a query.

4. We ask for the first three chapters of books. Don’t send non-consecutive chapters, e.g. 1, 13 and 26. If you’re not confident in your earliest chapters, your manuscript is probably not ready – revise it and send it once you’re happy.

5. Submissions on CD, memory stick or in elaborate boxes arriving by post. Just keep it simple.

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