When you’re finished with your manuscript, fiction or non-fiction, it’s time to craft a successful query letter and/or book proposal. At Chrysalis, we’ve helped scores of clients and welcome the opportunity to help you compose an effective query letter or book proposal that will draw an agent or editor’s attention.
Query letters For novels, short story collections, and memoirs* you need a complete manuscript and a compelling query letter. Query letters follow a basic formula, which Chrysalis can provide, and once you’ve written a draft, we can help you polish it to perfection. They can be tricky though:
How do you write a tantalizing hook?
How can you summarize your book in one or two sentences?
How much or how little should you write?
What should you include in your author bio?
Book proposals For non-fiction and sometimes for memoir,* you don’t need to have a complete manuscript, but you will need to write a book proposal. This is an entirely different beast. While you might draft a query in a day (or two), a solid book proposal can easily consume several weeks. If you’ve never written one, we recommend purchasing a book that can help you (there are many). For some of our favorites go to the Resources For Writers page of this website.
(*Depending on the agent or publisher, they may not require a book proposal for memoir, but if that’s the case, they usually require a full manuscript.)
We are skilled in evaluating each aspect of the proposal—from overviews, to chapter summaries, to market competition, to building an author platform.
With Chrysalis at your side, you’ll feel confident that your query letters are enticing, your book proposals substantive and complete, and that the agents and editors you approach are right for your project. We can help you create your proposal from scratch or revise an existing one. We can take care of some of the process or all of it, including giving you advice on how to negotiate fees and avoid scams when an agent or a publisher offers you a contract.
Note: This service cannot guarantee that you will find an agent or a publisher. Agents and editors receive hundreds of manuscripts, and anyone who guarantees that yours will be chosen from the slush pile is not telling the truth. But we will do everything in our power to make the process more manageable.
Praise for Chrysalis Editorial
Herta Feely was a Godsend when it came to helping me rewrite a proposal for my book, which was finally accepted by my agent and then by my publisher. When I first met with Herta, we connected immediately and she was instrumental in helping reveal my true self in a very personal story. Hats off to her and her hard work! - Lee DiPietro, Author,Against the Wind