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But how do you convince a literary agent to represent you? As a senior vice president and senior literary agent at P. This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to find a literary agent to represent your work. If you want to be traditionally published with representation someone who can manage the business side of your writing careeryou need a literary agent.
Also, if your fiction manuscript is not complete you are not ready. Some agencies have you one per book and some agencies will set theirs up to work with you for the long term. At our agency, we the client up for the long term. I always think of it as a multi-year, multi-project business relationship. It also keeps the writer feeling secure in knowing that they have a champion for the long haul. Your literary agent serves as your business representative to help take care of the financial and administrative matters so you can focus on your craft. When your manuscript is complete, polished, reviewed by a beta reader or critiqued by a writing partner, you are ready to pitch it to a literary agent.
If you have these things ready you can start building your submission list. Finding agents is easy to do in the age of the internet, but finding good ones can be more of a challenge anyone can call themselves an agent, but only those who have a strong track record are doing it well. Here are some online, print and in-person resources to find agents of quality:. Think of your Seeking a literary type letter like a cover letter for a job. Not too personal, not too stiff, but showing the right amount of self-awareness and industry awareness. Here are my query letter i. Each agent has a different skill set and when you talk to an agent for the first time you want to get to know what they excel at.
Once you an agent agreement, the heavy workload begins — again. We usually do a round or two or three! Once we have the submission draft ready to go the agents puts together their submission list of editors.
We pitch those editors and it goes out into the world again. Agents will focus on the larger publishers first and then work their way down to smaller ones depending on the project, but this is usually the case. Then the next waiting phase begins. Will someone buy it? We hope so! Finding the right agent is one of the most important things you can do for your writing career. Agents are looking for the best of the best.
Agents are looking for projects that can stand out in a wave of entertainment options. Agents are looking for books that they know they can sell. My relationships with my clients are all really special ones. I love seeing their dreams come true and coaching them through the tough times as well.
Having an objective expert on your writing team is crucial to succeeding in this industry and I hope everyone finds the best fit for their personal style. Literary Agency. Since ing PSLA in Carly has had great success launching new authors domestically and abroad. Never without a book on hand she re across which is reflected in the genres she represents Seeking a literary type PSLA. Representing debuts and bestsellers, Carly is drawn to: emotional, well-paced fiction, with a great voice and characters that readers can get invested in; and platform-driven non fiction.
Carly Watters, Literary Agent carlywatters. Dear Carly, What a superb informative and helpful article, if only you were based in London, I would be applying to you to represent myself, being a novice author of Roman Historical Fiction.
I have been searching for this type of information. Many thanks, Bill. The timing, for planting seeds of hope in writers, could not have been, or come, sooner. Congratz to the max on your stellar literary career, and endless thanks for sharing your professional experience so generously. I deeply appreciate your convincing me the time is now. With every best wish, James E. Thank you so much for this amazing guide, Carly! You rule! Thank you for this information! I have several manuscripts to query and this will be very helpful! Am I seriously the first to comment on this post?
Thank you Carly Watters for this informative and exceptional article on why, when, how, and where to find an agent for your novel. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Why you need a literary agent If you want to be traditionally published with representation someone who can manage the business side of your writing careeryou need a literary agent. What does working with a literary agent look like? Here are some online, print and in-person resources to find agents of quality: PW. Authors nearly always thank their agents here.
Paragraph Two — Brief overview: This should read similar to back-cover copy. Include your website and social media handles. Personalize each letter based on their guidelines. And wait. It takes time for an agent to read their slush pile i. Response rates vary from agency to agency but most agents will respond to queries anywhere from 4 weeks to 6 months.
Only follow up if a you have an offer of representation and need to let everyone know; or b you have followed the guidelines on their website and they said to check back then. Be prepared to answer these questions from your potential literary agent: What are you working on next? How long does it take you to write a draft? Who are some of your favorite authors? What kind of support are you looking for? What has been your path to publishing?
Agented before? Published before? How do you workshop your work? Critique group? How many drafts did you complete before the one I saw? Where do your ideas come from? What is your day job? And what does your writing schedule look like? What are some of your career goals and expectations? How many other agents are looking at the manuscript? Do my editorial notes match your vision for the book? How do you feel about social media and marketing yourself? Ask your potential literary agent these questions: What is your definition of representation?
If you and the agent agree to work together, what will happen next? What is the expected process?
I go into detail about this in the next section. Does the agent use a formal author-agent agreement or a hand-shake agreement? What happens if either the agent or the client wants to terminate the partnership? How long has the agent been an agent? How long have they been in publishing, and what other positions have they held? How long has the agency been in business? What are the last few titles the agent has sold? Does the agent belong to any professional or industry organizations? Does the agent handle film rights, foreign rights, audio rights? Is there a specialist at their agency who handles these rights?
Does the agent prefer phone oror are they okay with both? Does the agent let you know where and when they submit your work? Does the agent forward rejection letters to the client? What happens when the agent is on vacation? Does Seeking a literary type agent consult with the client on all offers from publishers?
Does the agent make any decisions on behalf of the client? Does the author receive payments directly from the publisher, or do payments go through the agent first? How long after the agent receives advances and royalties will they send them to you? Does the agent charge for mailing?
Any other fees? What publishers does the agent think would be appropriate for your book? How close is your book to being ready for submission? Will there be a lot of editing and rewriting first? Does the agent help with career planning? How does the agent feel about authors switching genres? Will the agent edit and help you revise your work? You landed a literary agent!Seeking a literary type
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Wrote a Book? Here Are 5 Ways How to Get a Literary Agent