Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Essential Tips to Find the Right Literary Agent

Finding a literary agent is no simple task, and as you begin your search, you may realize that most literary agencies are not even accepting queries or unsolicited manuscripts. So what are you as an unpublished author to do? The most essentail tip to keep in mind is that you must never give up because you need only one positive response to your unpublished work to see success in finding the right literary agent!

  1. Search by specialty. You will make a huge mistake in submitting queries and samples of your manuscript to agents who do not specialize in your subject matter. It is best to use a book like “Guide to Literary Agents”, which has literary agents split up based on their specialties, as well as what they are looking for and their contact information.
  2. Research an agency’s published works. Most agencies will have their published authors on their website, which will give you a better idea if they are looking for your style of work.
  3. Check how many clients they have. Most agents will also post how many clients that they represent, what percentage are new writers, their sales, and how the agency handles contracts, advances, and marketing.
  4. Submit your query letter. Most literary agent websites will also have information on how to submit a query letter, and you must follow their submission guidelines to the letter. If you do not, a literary agent will see that you are not serious and probably delete your e-mail or throw out your letter right away.
  5. Send a professional query letter. There a number of guidelines online for the best way to write a query letter, but it does need to be professional, concise, and clear to make an impression.
  6. Do it all over again. The above steps are general guidelines to finding a literary agent, but this must be done hundreds of times before you see success. Remember that rejection has happened to everyone, even J.K. Rowling, so start searching, put yourself out there, and keep your chin up!

For a great selection of the Bodum French Press, check out Bethany Ramos' website, The Coffee Bump.