How Do You Get An Agent? (Part II)


Our general query letter served us pretty well, but there were occasionally agents who specified that they wanted to see certain things in a query. Some wanted the first 500 words of the book, for example. (It should go without saying that we tailored our letter to suit the agent's request; as bizarre as it sounds, there are apparently people who ignore agent's requirements when querying, so I guess it doesn't really go without saying after all.)

One agent's web page specified a very particular format. Essentially,she wanted a condensed version of the book proposal one might send to a publisher. We put one together for her and sent it off. She replied almost immediately that she did indeed want to see the manuscript.

Here's the proposal that got her to read our book:

Working Title
"The Government Manual for New Superheroes"

You're a regular, human man or woman but you yearn to be super, and to fight
crime. The government encourages you and provides this (very funny
mock-)manual to help you choose a name, a costume, a sidekick, a nemesis,
and more.

Nerds; anyone who reads comic books or comic strips or watches cartoons;
anyone with a sense of humor; anyone, really.

Table of Contents


Chapter One: Choosing Your Superhero Name Not Answering to Your Civilian
Name The Four Common Varieties A Word on Hyphenation
And a Word on Adjectives
A Caution About Honorifics
A Caution About Ambiguity
What Your Name Should Say About You
The Epithet: An Extra Bit of Bluster
The Epithet: An Additional Use
Rule: First Born, First Named
Exception to the Rule
Demeanor the Better
Adjusting Your Attitude
Keep It Simple, Superhero
Remember Which Side You're On
For the Stranger to This World: Choosing a Human Name

Chapter Two: Donning Your Costume
Buyer Beware
A Table
A Word on Modesty
Costume Design
Insignia as Target?
Another Table
The Strange Case of Mr. Mandelbrot, the Chaos Crusader
Costume Construction (and Repair)
Changing Into Your Costume

Chapter Three: Equipping Yourself for Superheroics
Not Every Superhero Runs
The Basics
Where to Stick It
Survival of the Outfittest
Local Notions
Specialized Equipment
Signature Equipment
New and/or Improved Equipment
Holy Pointed Lesson!
Keep Your Equipment Clean (and Loaded)

Chapter Four: Establishing Your Base of Operations
The Real-Estate Agent's Rallying Cry
Another Two-Hundred-Penny-Saving Tip
Protecting Property Values
If You Must Live in a City
A Superhero's Giant Flaming Sword of Justice Is His or Her Castle
Owning Versus Renting
Legal Precautions
Fortifying Your Fortress
Beauty Is Truth, Truth Beauty
Better, Faster, Stronger Not to Mention Smarter

Chapter Five: Maintaining (and Revealing) Your Secret Identity
Which Comes First?
How to Keep a Secret
Declining Credit
The Coincidence Conundrum
Dealing With the Secret Sharer
Whom to Tell
Breaking the News
Expect Some Resistance
The Upside of Revelation

Chapter Six: Taking (or Being) a Sidekick
A Sidekick Is Not for Every Superhero
With Great Authority Comes Great Accountability
Screening and Selecting a Sidekick
Pet Names
Leaving the Kid at Home
Starting Out as a Sidekick
The Apprentice System
Special Considerations
The Responsibilities of a Sidekick
Leaving the Nest
No One Succeeds Like a Sidekick

Chapter Seven: Teaming Up
Super-Allies Wanted
Avoiding Embarrassment
Finding a Good Fit
The Sad Situation of the Birds of a Feather
Dealing With Rejection
Team Tactics
Rallying Cries
Team Dynamics

Chapter Eight: Making Enemies
A Glossary of Bad (Abridged)
Starting Small
Choosing Your Particular Enemies
Identifying Your Nemesis
Wooing Your Nemesis from Another Superhero
Where to Meet a Nemesis (and Whatto Say)
Ending It

Appendix A: Worldwide Superhero Unions
Appendix B: Sample Registration Form
Appendix C: Other Publications Available

The Manual fairly requires comic-book style illustrations, and we have an
accomplished and published illustrator lined up and eager to contribute, if

Estimated Length

Completion Notes
The work is complete.

Author Bio
Matthew David Brozik is an attorney by day and a writer at night and on
weekends. He has published short, very short, and really, really short
fiction in such journals (of Justice) as the "Sycamore Review," "Spout
Magazine," "Sidewalks," and "Barbaric Yawp." He is a co-founder of the
riotous improvisational comedy troupe of Princeton University, where he
studied English and wrote a big paper about "Star Wars." He is currently at
work on a novel about a teenage girl whose poems get her in trouble with the
United States Postal Service.

Jacob Sager Weinstein is a television comedy writer by day and an attorney
at night and on weekends. He recently spent three years as a staff writer
for HBO's multiple-Emmy-winning "Dennis Miller Live." For his work on the
show, he received one Writers' Guild of America award, two Writers' Guild of
America award nominations, and twelve months of unemployment when the show
was canceled. He currently lives in London, where he is developing a sitcom
for possible airing on the BBC.


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jacob published on June 17, 2005 9:41 AM.

How do you get an agent? (Part I) was the previous entry in this blog.

How Do You Get An Agent? (Part III) is the next entry in this blog.

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