Top positive review
The author tells it as it is
on 23 April 2013
This book does not hold back, the author tells it as it is. All writers want to be published, and by a reputable publisher. This is often only possible via an agent, and one with a positive and professional reputation. How pleasant it would be for every submission to be received with open arms and gushes of, 'wonderful', 'this will do well', when in truth, the majority of submissions fall short of the required guidelines and is neither wonderful and has no chance of doing anything, let alone well.
It is easy to get pulled along in the moment of excitement - when your book is finally finished (or so you believe) and then it is sent, lovingly wrapped in layers of bubble wrap to protect it on its journey which the writer prays is its last and is followed by a contract in the next post. The book you have nurtured over perhaps years is now on its own, out in the big bad world and knocking on an agent's door - and finds it is not alone. Imagine that agent picking up the manuscripts, by the armful before sitting back to read. A reasonable introduction letter and synopsis is the first chance you get to dip a toe into an agent's world. If the manuscript is presented on clean paper (without whiffs and spills) it is more likely to be read and hopefully, enjoyed.
Some comments about the book suggest it is harsh in places. Maybe so, but it is an honest view. As a writer, I would rather an honest opinion and guidance rather than a load of waffle and no hope. Carole Blake covers wider areas than the submission...the all important contract and legal stuff too.
If you are looking for a book written by someone who has successfully been in the trade for many years, and who knows what is required - then this is such a book. Much of what is written in it would apply to many other agencies too. I found it helpful.