Over a year ago I\’d sent an individual proposal to about 50 American literary agencies and some tens of publishers. Of the few responses I got the main answer was ‘no credentials’. As far as I know with a non-fiction book a platform is required, be it a big publisher. I\’m looking for an agency.
I have a few questions.
– Can your agency get a deal with an American publisher for a non-fiction author without platform?
– Would it make any difference if I say that I don’t want to risk censorship revolving digital publishing?
The first question I have to ask you is whether your non-fiction work is aimed at children/teens or adults? If it’s aimed at adults then we are not the right agency for you; we don’t handle adult non-fiction.
I think that with adult NF you do indeed need some kind of platform. I don’t mean you necessarily need to have been published before, but you need to have some strong credentials for writing about your chosen subject. What expertise or experience do you bring to your theme that would give the material weight and make it stand out on the shelves? Are you an authority on the subject? Do you have a background which gives you a specially marketable angle on it?
If you are writing for children, this is perhaps less important (in some circumstances). You could be a history teacher or a mental-health professional (etc, etc) and write well for that age group — though you still need a strong angle.
So, in my view it depends what you are writing and for whom you are writing it. I hope this helps.