Frequently Asked Questions1. What does a literary agent do? Why are they important?
2. What do you look for in a client?
3. How do you decide what clients to take?
4. How many clients do you take at one time?
5. How long has SES Agency, LLC, existed?
6. Are you a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives (“AAR”)?
7. What does the review process look like?
8. Why does SES use such a team-driven process?
9. How important is the query letter?
10. What do you look for in a query letter?
11. I know you’ll love my manuscript. Can I skip the query letter and just send you my manuscript?
12. Does my manuscript really have to be edited before I submit it for consideration?
13. What happens to the query letters or manuscripts that do not meet the submission guidelines?
14. Does my book have to be in a certain genre?
15. Will you edit my work?
16. Is there a fee to submit my work?
17. What are your fees?
18. Will you send my manuscript back to me?
19. What is the typical response time?
20. How long will I be under a contract with you?
21. Can I use a pen name or pseudonym?
22. I have created some really great art work that would be great for the cover of a book. Can I send that to you?
1. What does a literary agent do? Why are they important?
A literary agent helps you improve your manuscript, get the attention of publishing companies, and obtain a publishing contract that suits your needs. Most publishers require that you be represented by an agent.2. What do you look for in a client?
An author who fits in well at SES takes criticism well, follows advice, is flexible, is serious about his/her project succeeding, gets along well with members of the SES team, has clear goals for his/her project, educates his/herself about the publication process, and communicates well with others.3. How do you decide what clients to take? 1. What does a literary agent do? Why are they important?
We look at a number of factors, including whether the query letter and manuscript have met all of the guidelines we’ve set, whether the client seems to be a good fit for our company, and whether we are accepting new clients.4. How many clients do you take at one time?
At SES, we accept no more than 10 clients at any one time. Limiting the number of clients enables us to devote much more quality time to supporting each of our clients.5. How long has SES Agency, LLC, existed?
SES is a new literary agency that began in 2010. We are excited to bring a fresh option to authors who are searching for a literary agency.6. Are you a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives (“AAR”)
No, but we hope to be in the future. SES is a new agency and in order to be a member of AAR, an agency has to have existed for two years. However, we still follow the AAR guidelines.7. What does the review process look like?
The entire SES submissions team will read your query letter. If we all agree that we would like to read your manuscript, we invite you to submit your manuscript. An agent who felt particularly intrigued by your query letter will then read your manuscript. After the agent reads the manuscript, he/she shares with the rest of the submissions team his/her observations about the book, projections on the likelihood of the book being published, and recommendations for accepting the author as a client. If the feedback was positive, the rest of the team reads the manuscript. The team will then discuss and decide whether or not to offer the author representation.8. Why does SES use such a team-driven process?
The entire SES submissions team must be on board, for two reasons: 1) We are pretty tough critics. If we all like a book, we think it will do well. 2) We spend all day, each day, working on getting our clients’ books published. It is important that we all like the books we’re obsessing over.9. How important is the query letter?
The query letter is extremely important, and we take it very seriously. Your query letter is our first impression of you and your book. If the query letter is well-written and the description of the book appeals to us, we will invite you to submit a manuscript.10. What do you look for in a query letter?
We are looking for a variety of things, including: polished writing, a candid and accurate description of the work, audience appeal, and a good fit with SES Agency.11. I know you’ll love my manuscript. Can I skip the query letter and just send you my manuscript?
No. Please comply with the guidelines we’ve set out in the “Submissions” section: Send a query letter, and then upon invitation, send your manuscript. Please do not send your manuscript right away. Again, please do not send money.12. Does my manuscript really have to be edited before I submit it for consideration?
Yes. See the “Submissions” section for more information.13. What happens to the query letters or manuscripts that do not meet the submission guidelines?
We gently place them in the recycling bin.14. Does my book have to be in a certain genre?
Yes. Please visit the “Submissions” section for more information.15. Will you edit my work?
No. We do not offer editing services.16. Is there a fee to submit my work?
No. Please do not send money or gifts with your submission.17. What are your fees?
If the book is selected by a publisher, SES then receives a 15% commission on domestic sales and a 20% commission on foreign sales. The author reimburses SES for expenses incurred on the author’s behalf, such as photocopying, postage, copies of the book, and overseas expenses.18. Will you send my manuscript back to me?
No. Query letters, manuscripts, and any other items sent to SES Agency become the property of SES Agency, LLC, and are not returned.19. What is the typical response time?
It depends on how many submissions we have at the time. We carefully read all query letters and manuscripts we receive. Typically, response times average about 2-3 weeks for a query letter and 4-6 weeks for a manuscript.20. How long will I be under a contract with you?
We do not use career-long or indefinite contracts. We contract for individual projects only. We are confident that you will like working with us so much that you will come back to us after your next book is finished and contract with us again.21. Can I use a pen name or pseudonym?
Absolutely. At SES, we respect our clients’ privacy. We do not share our clients’ names, or any other information, without their permission, or unless required by law. However, we cannot guarantee that a publisher will share the same policy.22. I have created some really great art work that would be great for the cover of a book. Can I send that to you?
No, please do not send artwork or pictures of any kind. They will not be stored or passed along, and will not be returned to you.