Legality of sharing manuscript for critiquing

Mon, Nov 13 2017 12:56pm GMT 1
6 Posts
So, I have finished my YA novel, polished it for the umpteenth time and now I am ready to start sending to agents. Before I do I would like to get an appraisal of the work by a couple of readers in the target demographic. Being a newbie I am concerned I could be making a mistake...

Would it help by including some short 'reviews' written by the target audience in my Agent Submission?
(Like the blurbs you see on book jackets)

Would potential publishers be concerned knowing there are some PDFs of the manuscript 'out there' on people's computers?

Any advice welcomed, thank you.
Mon, Nov 13 2017 02:01pm GMT 2
283 Posts
I wouldn't send any 'reviews' by target audience, it would be a bit like saying 'my Mum thinks it's great'. Just send your MS (if invited)

I don't think it would matter if there are pdfs on a few computers. The main thing is that you've produced a great story.

This is only my own take on it, and you will probably get some more replies from people better placed than I am to advise you.

Be cool and honest!
Mon, Nov 13 2017 05:28pm GMT 3
1177 Posts
I'm afraid I agree. Including in your submission letter something along the lines of 'I have shown this to a couple of teenagers (or whatever) and they think it's brilliant' will cut no ice at all with agents. Even a positive comment from a pro critique won't do you much good, I've been told. They've seen it all before.

More comfortingly, I'm sure your worry is groundless. Any agent would be surprised to hear that you hadn't shown your MS to a few readers.
Tue, Nov 14 2017 03:19pm GMT 4
2291 Posts
Any submission to an agent should be matter-of-fact and professional. That said, you could include what you think makes your submission different (its USP) or who you think it might appeal to (fans of FSOG or whatever). At the end of the day, the agent will make their decision based on what they are reading, not on other people's opinions of what you've written.

Take a decko at Crabbit Old Bat's advice on submissions on 'Help! I need a publisher!' She's good at telling you what you can - and shouldn't - include. Hope it helps.

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