Finding a Literary Agent

Tips for Finding a Literary Agent by Judith Ceja

Finding an agent to promote your book might be as hard as writing the manuscript in the first place! With the following helpful tips and a lot of perseverance you can be successful in finding the right agent for you.

Tip #1: Polish Your Manuscript

It is important to present a finished product to a new agent. This doesn’t mean that your new agent will take your manuscript as is, but you should have edited your own manuscript before submitting it to a potential book agent. Get your friends to read your book and take their feedback seriously. This is an opportunity to tie up any loose straws you may have left. You want to make a good first impression.

Tip #2: Browse the Bookstore

Bookstores are full of books that have already been published. One way to find a book agent that gets books published is to browse through the section of the bookstore that contains your genre. Authors almost always thank their agent in the dedication section of their book. You can utilize the dedications to compile a list of agents who publish your genre.

Tip #3: Attend Literary Events

There are a couple of ways to meet agents in person without charging into their office. You can attend writing conferences which are attended by literary agents. Start an informal conversation with an agent to establish an initial connection. Then follow up with an email or letter. Connecting with other conference participants may also lead to a connection with an agent. Additionally, there are events specifically designed for authors to meet agents. One such event is “Meet the Agents” day which is hosted by the International Women’s Writing Guild.

Tip #4: Promote Your Own Book

Select a quality excerpt from your book and send it out to journals and magazines to generate publicity. Agents commonly contact authors that have attracted their attention after appearing in major magazines and newspapers. Use social networking to promote your book. If you want to grab an agent’s attention, generate your own publicity.

Tip #5: Use the Internet

The internet provides a wealth of information for authors. Websites that provide listings of book agents are too numerous to mention. And, like anything on the internet, some of the information is reputable and some is not. Beware of agents who charge fees in addition to their commission.

Finding a literary agent is difficult, but it can be done. It is important to use every tool available to you. Get out there and meet agents on their own turf by attending literary events. Use the internet as a research tool to find an agent. Show off your work and don’t be afraid to fine tune your manuscript along the way. If you put in the hard work, you will find an agent.


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