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Glossary of Agent terms


Some of the terms and abbreviations you might encounter in the listings

Biog - Brief, personal biography.

Commission - The percentage of the gross amount that will be deducted before the money is passed to the writer.

CV - European term for resume or brief personal biography.

Incorporating - As agencies grow up or grow old, they often absorb or are absorbed by other agencies.

IRC - International Reply Coupon will cover the postage if the item has to be returned to an address abroad. You can still find these in larger post offices. 

MS - Manuscript or typescript is the original work set down on paper using, pen, typewriter or printer. 

Résumé - North American term for CV or brief personal biography.

Literary Scouts - Literary scouts gather information from agents, publishers and editors on behalf of foreign publishers. They only work with material that is already commissioned or being handled by an agent. They do not accept any unsolicited material.

SAE or SASE- an envelope with your address on it and with sufficient value in stamps to cover the return of your work.  

Script - This term is normally reserved for work for the performing arts such as plays or films.

Synopsis -  A short summary of a piece of work, usually fiction.

Outline - A chapter-by-chapter breakdown of your planned (usually non-fiction) book.

Please note that we cannot help with clearing permissions.  We suggest that you get in touch with the agencies directly.