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  1. homerjoe

    homerjoe New Member

    Apr 16, 2010
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    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by homerjoe, Apr 16, 2010.

    I am a first-time author, who is trying to co-author a memoir/biography for a famous Nashville musician. The musician trusts me and wants me to do this book with him/for him. I am a journalist by trade, so writing is no big deal.
    I have sent out mass queries with some reception. But one agent demanded I include sample chapters with my proposal (which the agent admitted is thorough and well-done). My frustration comes that I think it's a waste of my time and the musician's time to start this book process (interviewing, etc.) to get sample chapters for something that might not ever get published. Not to mention, I have to travel to Nashville to interview him, so I want a deal in place to make it financially feasible. Anyway, am I being reasonable or delusional? It was my understanding that sample chapters are not necessary for non-fiction pieces and only necessary for fiction work.
  2. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
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    Massachusetts, USA
    It's not an unusual request.
  3. Banzai

    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

    Mar 31, 2007
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    Reading, UK
    Well, from a practical standpoint, it's irrelevant whether or not it's unreasonable. If that is what the agent/publisher is asking for, then that's what you have to provide if you want them to represent/publish you.

    But my perspective on it is that it isn't unreasonable. If you're a first time writer, then the agent/publisher has no real idea of how you will write the book. They'll need to see a writing sample in order to know whether to invest in the book.
  4. EileenG

    EileenG Member

    Feb 15, 2010
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    It's a normal request. For a non-fiction book, you generally are expected to supply a detailed proposal, a chapter by chapter breakdown, complete with any photos, charts, map or illustrations that will be needed, and at least one sample chapter.

    For a fiction book, it's normal to expect the entire book to be finished before a publisher will read a single word of it.
  5. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon
    ditto what eileen said... i was going to write the same... sample chapters are a standard part of a non-fiction book proposal...

    especially since you're an unknown new writer, so they'll have to see if you can deliver a marketable ms... the only exception would be if you've a good track record as a published author, so they can be confident of your ability by checking out your previous works...

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