Ask a Literary Agent – Submit Your Question About Book Agents

Ask a Literary AgentAsk a literary agent your question here (any question) about getting a literary agency to represent you, so you can get a traditional publisher and book deal. Scroll below to get started. Just make sure you also check out our home page to see all the other info available on this Literary Agents website.

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Submit Your Question Below

What question would you ask a literary agent
if you had one all tied up?

Well, this is your opportunity because…

Ask a Literary Agent a Question About Anything

I’m a former book agent.

There’s a form below where you can submit your question.

And I actually want you to ask a literary agent
(this literary agent) your question.

You see…

I like it when authors ask me questions.

It makes me feel smart.

I like talking about publishing.

Ask a Literary Agent Your Question

And I like…

Helping other authors.

In fact, I like it so much that I didn’t get upset when one author
decided he would ask a literary agent (guess who) a question
in the men’s room at a writer’s conference.

Not while I was washing or drying my hands.

No…

I was literally…
using the restroom.

Ask a literary agent in the restroom

* * *

Ask a Literary Agent a Question
(but not in the bathroom)

It might sound crazy, the fact that I didn’t get upset,
but think of it this way…

How do you feel when someone asks you a question
about something you’re passionate about?

Like (maybe), your writing?

I get excited.

So, don’t hesitate to…

* * *

Ask a Literary Agent (Me) a Question
(the one that’s keeping you awake at night)

Question, ask a literary agent

No question is too big or too small.

And no question is silly.

Really.

I’d be honored to help you.

I went undercover as a literary agent for five years
just to find out how get my own books published.

Now I’m having a blast sharing my secrets…
because I know what it’s like out there.

Oh…

* * *

One More Reason to Submit Your Question

Ask a Literary Agent Your Question

* * *

Each time you ask a literary agent a question (or leave a comment) using the form below (or anywhere else on this website), you’ll have a chance to win a $20 Gift Card from Amazon.

Every week I select a winner (from those who left a question or comment the previous week). You can leave as many questions or comments as you want (that will simply increase your chances of winning), but you only need to comment or ask a question once to be eligible.

Winners are chosen randomly, so flattery will get you everywhere (I mean nowhere). In other words, you can win more than once (multiple weeks) if you consistently ask questions or leave comments. Just make sure your questions and/or comments are thoughtful, and not just obvious attempts to win more gift cards!

* * *

Why Am I Giving Away Gift Cards?

Two reasons:

1) I’m a nice guy

2) I want my online community to be an interactive place so I can be of better service to you. The only way I can do that is to get you engaged (in other words… telling me what you like, don’t like, want, and need).

So, don’t forget to scroll down and ask a literary agent a question below (or simply leave a comment).

Not sure what to say?

Ask me anything about literary agencies, publishing, or writing. Tell me (and everyone else) why you like this column or blog. Or, simply reply to someone else’s question or comment.

That’s it.

I look forward to seeing your thoughts below,

Mark Malatesta

Your “Undercover” Agent

P.S. – Your question/comment will be posted and responded to on my blog ASAP!

Leave a Reply

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1,821 comments

  1. Louis Antonio Lopez /

    UGH! for the past several years I’ve been trying to get my fairytale picture book text represented and published. No one seems to be interested unless your a celeb writing a picture book. I submitted countless times. Is this genre dead for the unknown writer? I dont want to self publish. Are there any agents left interested in children’s picture book stories by new talent? I am seriously considering giving up. KNOW ANYONE? I’ve submitting practically to everyone.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Louis,

      Sorry to hear it hasn’t been going well…

      But, you can easily find more agents who might be a fit by using my Directory of Literary Agents that you can access here (no charge): http://literary-agents.com/directory-literary-agents/.

      And you can often get a drastically different response by tweaking or changing your pitch materials (query letter, manuscript, etc.). My favorite example of this is one of my coaching clients who’d pitched her favorite “dream” agent three times over the course of two years. Rejections every time. After I helped her rewrite her query letter, she approached the same agent a fourth time and he requested the full manuscript. So don’t get too discouraged. You might just be a few changes away from getting what you want.

      As a next step (if you haven’t already done so) click here to access to all the resources I have about getting an agent in my private, members-only area (no charge): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Once you’ve entered your name and email address there, click on the link that says, “Audio Training Library”. Then you’ll see my main audio training (and text transcript), which reveals the 7 Insider Secrets You Need to Know to Get a Top Literary Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal.

      That might have what you need
      to get to the next level…

      If you want help with anything else, you can post questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. You can also (if you haven’t done so already) get access (no cost) to all the valuable resources in our private, members-only area here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. And you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

      Have a great day,

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  2. Trey Rogge /

    Hello,

    I’m not sure if this is up to the agent, but I’ll ask anyway.

    Is it possible in today’s market for an author to choose not to grant interviews or do book tours? Would an agent be less likely to sign the author if that was their choice?

    Granted, saying “I just don’t want to” is stupid and childish, but say the author wants his work to speak for itself and considers interviews pointless or harmful to his work. How feasible is this choice in today’s media-driven literary market?

    Thanks.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Trey… in short… the better your book… the more say you get over everything from title to cover to promotion etc. However… best not to bring it up until if/when agents show serious interest. It’s hard enough to get them interested. Don’t start by telling them what you’re not going to do.

      Also…

      If you haven’t already done so, make sure you click here to access to all the valuable resources I have about getting an agent in my private, members-only area (no charge): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Once you’ve entered your name and email address there, click on the link that says, “Audio Training Library”. Then you’ll see my main audio training (and text transcript), which reveals the 7 Insider Secrets You Need to Know to Get a Top Literary Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal.

      If you want help with anything else, you can post questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

      Have a great week,

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  3. Rebecca York /

    Hi there,

    I am writing a book that contains lyrics from multiple songs. How do I go about requesting the rights to publish a book with song lyrics in it? Should I have an agent do that? And should I request that before or after I begin working with a publisher?

    Thank you!

    Rebecca York

  4. Rodney Woods /

    My daughter and I have written a short children’s book and would like to get it published and marketed. I would like to speak with someone live to discuss the process with your organization.

    Thanks,

    Rodney Woods

  5. saw-lian cheah /

    I understand that the manuscript sent to the agent has to be in double spacing. Should there be any indentation where the paragraphs are or should they also be aligned to the left?

  6. elizabeth Kirkpatrick /

    Dear Mark,

    I’ve been working on a book now for a while…and being more of an illustrator than a writer.. My question is I’d like to get this book out there NOW but it still needs to be tweeked in terms of writing so, at what point would a book agent become involved? How could they help me?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Elizabeth, depends on the genre. If it’s nonfiction, you only need sample chapters, complete chapter summaries, and a book proposal. For fiction it needs to be completely done. Either way, the writing needs to be well thought out and as polished as possible.

      To learn more about agents… what they can do for you… and how to get one interested (if you haven’t already done so) click here to access to all the valuable resources I have about getting an agent in my private, members-only area (no charge): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Once you’ve entered your name and email address there, click on the link that says, “Audio Training Library”. Then you’ll see my main audio training (and text transcript), which reveals the 7 Insider Secrets You Need to Know to Get a Top Literary Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal.

      If you want help with anything else, you can post questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

      Have a great week!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  7. Grace /

    Losing over 3 mil, devstng story (not told in head)of bank mortgage servicing fraud, BNK defraud Senators, Fed Reserve Bank, fedBNK help bank avoid 20 mil fine, BANK FORGING checks, all from a Father/Son bank who paid over 18 mil re settle fraud cases 2009. West Virginia corruption (including buying lawyers) at its finest. Excellent evidence docs. I want a good author who wants to write the story. Great mv potential. Real story. Obama Big Short not valid any more.HA Help with finding author?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Grace, I mostly help authors improve their work and find agents and publishers. If your story is good enough, you might be able to get a publisher on board but you’ll need a ghostwriter to help get the book written. I don’t have a specific article on the topic to point you to but I do have an audio interview with a ghostwriter that I know in my audio library that you might want to check out.

      To access that (if you haven’t already) just click here to access to all the valuable resources I have about getting an agent in my private, members-only area (no charge): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Once you’ve entered your name and email address there, click on the link that says, “Audio Training Library”. Then look for the interview described above. You’ll also want to listen to my main audio training (and text transcript), which reveals the 7 Insider Secrets You Need to Know to Get a Top Literary Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal.

      If you want help with anything else, you can post questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your story.

      Sounds like a good one (to read about, that is)!

      Have a great week,

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  8. Joy Baglio /

    Hi Mark!

    As someone who’s spent years working on (and trying to publish) short stories, I’m wondering if there are any agents who’ll consider taking on short story writers? I know many of the top literary journals require solicitation, so an agent would be very helpful. (I do have a novel I’m working on, though the short fiction is what I’ve honed and polished most, at the moment. I’ve also received a lot of favorable rejections, so I think I’m close!)

  9. Meaghan Curley /

    Hey Mark,

    My question is: Wanna be my agent :)?
    No but really my question is sometimes when I submit to agents their guidelines read “paste query letter into the body of email” but I assumed the query letter was the email? What else were they expecting in the letter? If it’s marketability I already covered that in the query.