How to Find a Literary Agent

How to Find a Literary Agent

How to Find a Literary Agent

Melina Druga
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The self-publishing route isn’t for everyone.  If you decided to take the traditional publishing route, chances are you will first try to get a literary agent to represent you.  How do you do this?  How do you find the right agent to represent you?

An agent is necessary if your goal is to be published by one of the major publishing houses.

Before you begin the process, be certain your manuscript is completed and professionally edited.  If an agent wants to represent you, he or she will first ask for a sample of your work.

Tips For Finding the Right Literary Agent

  • Be certain the agent represents your genre.
  • Be certain the agent works with an agency that has a track record of sales.
  • Be certain the agent is open to new submissions.
  • Follow all submission guidelines.
  • Keep records of when you contacted specific agents. This will avoid the embarrassing mistake of querying someone twice.
  • Remember a reputable agent will never charge a fee to read your manuscript or to represent you. Agents make money when they sell your work to a publishing house.

Places to Find Agents

Here are four reputable websites that list agents.

Agent Query:  Calls itself “the internet’s largest free database of literary agents.”   In addition to its database, it offers tips on how to avoid scams.

Publisher’s Marketplace:  This site charges a $25 monthly membership fee, but has a large, searchable database.

Query Tracker:  The site’s motto is “helping authors find literary agents.”  It is free, but membership is required.

Writer’s Market:  In addition to a website, the Writer’s Market also is a print publication listing agents, publishers and magazines that accept submissions.

Once you have made a list of agents you want to contact, it’s time to write your query letter.  Good luck.

Have you every queried a literary agent?  Tell us about it.  Leave a comment below.

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Most kids have an active imagination. My imagination has stayed strong into adulthood, and I’ve funneled that creativity into a successful writing career. I write history, both fiction and nonfiction, because although your school history classes may have been boring, the past is not. My goal is to bring the past to life in all its myriad of colors.

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