Our book submissions have now moved online at our new Curtis Brown Creative website, which is also the home for our creative writing courses and our ‘new writing room’, offering industry information, writing tips and blogs. On our www.curtisbrowncreative.co.uk website you can read about what our agents are looking for, direct your work to the right person, and send us your work easily and cost-effectively. All work will be read and responded to. Please note, the book agents are no longer accepting paper or email submissions. If you’d like to send your work to us, go to our Curtis Brown Creative website.
We're one of the few agencies who are happy to take a look at work by new writers. It’s worth remembering that we are looking for not only good writing, but also people who present themselves as credible, professional authors and have a good sense of the kinds of books and writing that actually sell in the marketplace. We all love books, but publishing is a business, and you’ve got to be a great business proposition as well as a great writer if you are going to succeed.
If you are writing within a particular genre e.g. crime, women‚ commercial fiction, travel narrative, to name a few (think of the kinds of categories you find in bookstores, a publisher is always going to ask themselves, where will this go in a shop?), you should be aware of what is already being published in that field and the kind of books that are selling and that people are talking about. However much we may personally like your work, what is crucial is that we will be able to convince a publisher that your work is a good commercial risk, that you are a writer with potential for future growth, and that you can also hit the ground running.
You’ll also need to be able to be presented as someone who is very promotable, who can write and talk engagingly and credibly about your work. You'll need to show that you are comfortable about undertaking your own social media publicity work to seed and support a publisher’s efforts, and that you're prepared to work with a publisher to maximise every relevant opportunity to support your book’s publication. So, in your cover letter, don’t forget to tell us who you are, and what you already do to make others aware of your work.
Your career as a writer will also benefit enormously if your work is likely to be of interest around the world and that, even if your writing has a very local setting, it features terrific storytelling that transcends international barriers and other media.
While you are thinking about the big picture, don’t forget the crucial nuts and bolts: we’re looking for excellent writing; for an introduction to what you have written in a succinct letter and a clear synopsis, but also for strong chapters that speak sufficiently for themselves that they make sense without you needing to give us a lot of padding.
However much you will need to be willing to undergo the surgery of an editor’s pen should you get a book deal, remember you’re unlikely to win any admiring glances unless your grammar, punctuation, spelling and style are already flawless.