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Summer 2014 in Berkeley

Catnip for Agents: How Editors Can Help Authors Craft Irresistible Book Proposals


Tuesday, June 3; 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.


$75 for enrollments paid on or before May 27;

$85 after May 27

Class Limit 24
Instructor Constance Hale
Location First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley
2407 Dana Street, Berkeley, Geneva Hall Room G208
(see First Presbyterian maps and directions)

With more and more editors distracted by marketing, and more and more agents drafted as editors, writers today must do a lot more than sketch out a good idea and expect an agent to sell it. Book proposals have to be sophisticated, and they must demonstrate a savvy understanding of the book market, publicity, and that hard-to-define idea of platform. As a result, many credible authors turn to freelance editors to help craft irresistible proposals. This class is designed for those editors eager to work more with independent authors. It mixes lecture, discussion, and exercises, covering the following subjects:

  • A quick overview of the process of selling books (fiction and nonfiction)
  • Clues to understanding literary agents
  • The qualities agents look for in clients
  • Ten things agents look for in a proposal
  • The best resources for editors and for writers
  • How to develop relationships with agents so that they send clients to you

Constance Hale has written three and a half books, edited two dozen, and helped publicize many more. A former editor at Wired, Health, and the San Francisco Examiner, today she works for Harvard Business Press as well as private clients of all stripes, on book manuscripts as well as proposals. Her books include the best-selling Sin and Syntax, and her work has appeared in many national publications, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Afar, the Atlantic, and Smithsonian. She covers writing and the writing life at sinandsyntax.com and is a founder of The Prose Doctors.

Click here to register.


The instructors were approachable, engaging, and very knowledgeable about the subjectslarge-white-quotes


A Student