My Dearest Mistress Snark,
Your casual reference today to the great "King Lear" has prompted me to write to you with a question that I have long been procrastinating over (and no, it does not relate to the filial fidelity of my three daughters, ha ha!).
After almost ten years of toil and introspection, oft reaching into the very depths of my soul and tearing free my inner being, I have finally completed my latest work; a literary novel of great erudition and depth, if I may so immodestly state.
Knowing how important it is that the reader can recognize the metaphor and sub-text in order to truly emotionally connect with, and be enlightened by, the work, and remembering well my own frustration in high-school comparative literature where ill-read students and teachers alike would butcher a literary classic by attributing to it meaning far distant from the author's intent, I have heavily annotated my own text, including providing translations of the passages that are in the original Ancient Greek (with a well deserved nod to Mr. Golding for his skilful use of that device).
So, without further ado, to the heart of my question. How, in the normal course of events, do you administer the publishing of the Cliffs Notes to accompany a work of fiction? Are these considered a subsidiary publishing right? I have, to protect the integrity of my work and the important messages contained therein, already drafted the manuscript for the aforementioned Clffs Notes and wonder if I should make reference to those in the initial query; submit them at the time the full manuscript is requested; or wait until you offer representation before presenting the comprehensive reading guide?
I believe, as I am sure you do too, that I owe it to my audience to give them every opportunity to read and understand my work; even though the rich tapestry I have woven will without doubt pass over the heads of many of them, and they may merely default to reading the work as just another chick-lit story. With the knowledge that nothing will come of nothing, therefore, I herewith submit my enquiry, and indeed myself, to the mercy of your wisdom and look forward to your metaphorically rich reply.
With deepest admiration for your blog-based largesse,
Your Humble Servant,
Literary Author (unpublished).
Oh yes definitely include a list of all the study aids required to fully appreciate the novel.
I guarantee it will greatly assist an agent's ability to decide if your work is right for his/her list. Cliff notes are a subsidiary right, categorized with anthologies and ViewMaster slide presentations.