Jay Wurts Writer and Editor
About Jay Wurts Writer and Editor

For Agents & Publishers

Manuscript stack

Because I work on a nonexclusive basis, there are seldom co-agenting provisions or commission-sharing of any kind.

Summing Up

Despite seismic shifts in the publishing world (through mergers and acquisitions, plus the exponential growth of self-publishing and new technologies like e-books, POD, Internet and cloud distribution), most authors still aspire to traditional representation and publication by established trade houses. As the market for new titles in most categories dwindles, agents and acquisition editors press authors harder to give them “production ready” manuscripts and an established promotional platform. The day of the amateur-author is over. The era of the professionally packaged, team-driven editorial product is here.

If you’re an agent or publisher discouraged by weak book proposals and marginal manuscripts, contact me now for:

  • Developmental editing/writing and coauthorships, both literary and commercial.
  • Creative concept development, project packaging, and platform building.
  • Adapting books for alternative media: e-books and Internet publication, film and TV.

Over the years, most of my book development work has originated with agents, packagers, and publishers. While good authors can come from anywhere, those whose proposals or manuscripts have made it past a reader to your desk usually show commercial potential and an author’s serious intent, so I’m happy to evaluate book proposals, manuscripts, or client queries received from you at no cost. (Please e-mail first for expression of interest and shipping information if proposal or manuscript cannot be transmitted as a WORD attachment.) If, after reviewing the material, I feel I can add value to the project, I’ll give you a quote for developmental editing, developmental writing, or full coauthorship depending on the client’s preferences and project potential. If you or your author want the material returned, please include a SASE or FedEx/UPS account number with the package.

After agreeing to undertake a project, I will provide a written agreement to the primary author. This agreement must be signed before either work-for-hire or collaborative (copyright sharing) projects can begin. In both cases, and unless I am instructed otherwise by you, I consider all referred projects to be commissionable and the agreement will contain an agency clause. This clause empowers you to collect fees from the client on my behalf and deduct your commission before disbursing them to me. I’ve found this arrangement benefits all parties: I am relieved of collection worries and many clients feel better about making deposits with their agent. Because I work on a nonexclusive basis, these agreements seldom involve co-agenting or commission-sharing of any kind.

For coauthorship projects, I usually charge no up-front fees but am compensated with an agreed-upon share of author’s income from all project sources. On occasion, if the primary author is unknown and/or the project’s marketing outlook is unclear, I’ll require a non-refundable proposal fee to be deducted from my share of the author’s advance.

For work-for-hire developmental writing or ghostwriting assignments, I will quote a fixed fee plus incentives, such as a bestseller and extraordinary advance bonus. Specific quotes depend on the subject area, the length and complexity of the manuscript, the amount of new material needed, the author’s (or publisher’s) goals and specifications for the project, and the premium for creating a distinctive author’s voice.

For work-for-hire developmental editing, I will quote a fixed fee with provisions for subsequent author support. In keeping with my practice for private (unrepresented) clients, this usually involves a second fixed fee payable when the project is sold.

For work on original or adapted screenplays, my fee follows the compensation structure of the current Writers Guild of American Theatrical and Television Basic Agreement. Please visit www.wga.org for more details.

Since managed texts seldom involve agents, I encourage any publisher who needs a chief writer or series editor for multi-author, multi-volume, or multimedia projects to contact me directly to discuss their plans and schedule.

Project queries or requests for information may be made via the e-mail link on the Contact page of this web site.