2016 Guide to Literary Agents – In this publishing insider article, a former NY Times bestselling literary agent shares the pros and cons of this popular literary agent directory. Although this directory of literary agents is one of the most well-known sources of information about literary agencies, it shouldn’t be the only list of literary agents that you use.
Now, scroll below to learn more and see a sample listing from the 2016 Guide to Literary Agents. This article is part of a 9-part series to help you find the best Directory of Literary Agents for you and your book.
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2016 Guide to Literary Agents –
What You Need to Know
The 2016 Guide to Literary Agents is for authors writing fiction, nonfiction, or children’s books. In addition to having literary agent listings for most literary agencies, the 2016 Guide to Literary Agents includes tips about the craft of writing and the business of writing. Dozens of literary agents weigh in on topics like query letters, children’s books, synopses and proposals, memoir writing, first chapters, conferences, platform, and more.
Also included in the 2016 Guide to Literary Agents are success stories from debut writers, as well as profiles on literary agents seeking new clients.
Praise for the 2016 Guide to Literary Agents:
“I just signed with literary agent Chip MacGregor, and I came upon him through
the Guide to Literary Agents. If not for GLA, I’d probably still be looking.”
– Les Edgerton, author of Hooked as well as several novels
“The Guide to Literary Agents was an indispensable tool for me when I was querying agents. I highly recommend it for any aspiring author–in addition to a comprehensive listing of literary agents, it contains valuable information about the query and submission process.”
– Darien Gee, author of Friendship Bread: A Novel
Now read our list of pros and cons for the 2016 Guide to Book Agents
below and take an in-depth look at a sample literary agency listing.
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2016 Guide to Literary Agents
Pros for the 2016 Guide to Literary Agents
The 2016 Guide to Literary Agents is definitely one of the most comprehensive literary agent directories on the market. Many years ago I was invited to write a feature article that was published in the directory, after I met the editor. I was also interviewed for the directory about what makes a successful query letter.
So let’s get into it…
Here’s what I like about the 2016 Guide to Literary Agents. Unlike Jeff Herman’s Directory of Agents this directory includes:
- A detailed index that makes it easy to find literary agencies interested in your category or book genre
- The year each literary agency was established
- Number of clients represented
- AAR membership status
- Percentage of fiction, nonfiction, and children’s book clients
- Response time for queries and full manuscript requests
- How the literary agency finds new clients
- Writers’ conferences that the literary agency is part of
Now, before you rush off to buy a copy of the 2016 Guide to Literary Agents, check out the disadvantages of this literary agent directory and the sample literary agency listing (below).
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Cons for the 2016 Guide to Literary Agents
Although the 2016 Guide to Book Agents is a great resource, it’s far from perfect. Virtually every US literary agency can be found in the directory. In other words, there’s absolutely no filtering process. Any book agent can get listed. That includes unsuccessful and unethical literary agencies. What’s an unethical literary agent? Any agent that charges reading fees or engages in any other questionable professional behavior. Learn more about protecting yourself from unscrupulous agents by reading our article, Bad Literary Agents.
Another downside to the 2016 Guide to Literary Agents is that reading it is a bit like eating dry toast. It’s boring. The only thing included in this directory of literary agents is the bottom line. In other words, when you read it you’ll discover which agents are interested in your genre, etc. But you won’t get any perspective on the agents personalities. In contrast, the Jeff Herman’s Directory of Agents I mentioned earlier includes fun and informative interview questions.
So, don’t let the 2016 Guide to Book Agents be your
only resource when researching literary agencies.
Now, scroll below to see a sample literary agency
listing from the Guide to Book Agents…
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Sample Listing – Guide to Literary Agents
(This is what my listing looked like when I was an agent)
New Brand Agency Group, LLC
Address: [No longer applicable]. Email: [No longer applicable]. Website:[No longer applicable]. Estab. 1994. Contact: Mark Malatesta. Member of AAR. Represents 80 clients. 70% of clients are new/unpublished authors. Currently handles: 50% nonfiction books; 30% novels; 20% juvenile books.
Member Agents – 2016 Guide to Literary Agents Agents
Mark Malatesta (formerly Mark Ryan)
Represents – 2016 Guide to Literary Agents Agents
Nonfiction books; novels; juvenile books. Considers these nonfiction areas: Animals/Pets; Autobiography; Beauty/Fashion/Style; Biography; Business; Celebrity; Christian; Cooking/Cookbook; Crafts; Cultural/Social Issues; Current Events/Affairs; Dating/Relationship/Sex; Diet/Nutrition; Education; Film/Entertainment; Environment; Family; Fitness; Food/Drinks; Gardening; Gay/Lesbian; General Nonfiction; Gift/Novelty; Health/Wellness; History; How-To; Humor; Inspiration; Investigative; Journalism; Juvenile; Law; Lifestyle; Medical/Medicine; Memoir; Middle Grade; Military/War; Mind/Body/Spirit; Money/Finance; Multicultural; Music; Narrative; Nature; New Age; Parenting/Child Guidance; Philosophy; Photography; Politics; Pop Culture; Practical; Prescriptive; Psychology; Reference; Religion; Science; Self-Help/Personal Development; Spirituality; Sports; Technology; Travel; True Adventure; True Crime; 20- and 30-Somethings; Upmarket; Women’s Issues; Young Adult. Considers these fiction areas: Action/Adventure; Chick Lit; Children’s Fiction; Christian Fiction; Commercial; Contemporary; Crime/Detective/Police; Erotica; Ethnic Fiction; Espionage/Military; Family Saga; Fantasy; Gay/Lesbian Fiction; General Fiction; Glitz; Graphic Novel; Historical; Horror; Humor Fiction; Inspirational Fiction; Juvenile Fiction; Literary; Magical Realism; Mainstream; Middle Grade Fiction; Multicultural Fiction; Mystery; Paranormal; Picture Book; Religious; Romance; Satire; Science Fiction; Short Story Collection; Sports Fiction; Suspense; Thriller; Upmarket Fiction; Western; Women’s Fiction; Young Adult Fiction.
Key to Success – 2016 Guide to Literary Agents Agents
“We only represent books with bestseller or high commercial potential (national/international appeal likely to sell at least 100,000 copies). And we only represent authors that we’re passionate about on three levels: The financial promise of the work and its ability to to entertain, educate, and inspire; the personality and character of the author; and the potential career of the author (future books and willingness/ability to promote). We don’t represent books we wouldn’t buy ourselves and pull all-nighters to read. Actively seeking the stories and voices that no one else can share but you. Genuine. Authentic. Genre-bending okay.”
How to Contact – 2016 Guide to Literary Agents Agents
Email queries only. Responds in 24-48 hours to queries when interested. 2 weeks to mss. Obtains most new clients through solicitations, 25% from referrals and conferences.
Recent Sales – 2016 Guide to Literary Agents Agents
24/7 and The Hill by Jim Brown (Ballantine), The Marriage Plan by Aggie Jordan, Ph.D. (Broadway); The Body of Christopher Creed by Carol Plum-Ucci (Harcourt-Brace/Paramount); The Finnegan Zwake Mystery Series by Michael Dahl (Pocket); The Misfits, Inc. Mystery Series by Mark Delaney (Peachtree); The Crisis Counselor by Jeff Caponigro (Contemporary); Eat Or Be Eaten by Phil Porter (Prentice-Hall); Father To Son by Harry Harrison (Workman); The Women’s Guide to Legal Issues by Nancy Jones (Renaissance); The Husband Book by Harry Harrison (Andrews McMeel); The Scooter Spy Mystery Series by Michael Dahl (Pocket); Various mysteries by Rae Foley (Simon & Schuster); Various young adult novels by Susan Rottman (Peachtree/Penguin).
Terms – 2016 Guide to Literary Agents Agents
Agent receives 15% commission on domestic sales; 20% commission on foreign sales. Offers written contract, binding for 1 year; 30 days notice must be given to terminate contract.
Writers’ Conferences – 2016 Guide to Literary Agents Agents
Santa Barbara Writers’ Conference; Missouri Writers’ Conference; Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Conference; First Novel Fest Conference; Writing the Region Conference; Florida First Coast Festival; Pike’s Peak Writers’ Conference; Authors Venue; Surrey Writers’ Conference* Gardenia Press Conference; Willamette Writers’ Conference; Sleuth Fest; Amarillo Writers Conference; Marjorie Kinnans Rawlings Workshop; Wild Acres Writers’ Conference and Retreat ; Wrangling With Writing; Southwest Florida Writers’ Conference; Panama City Storytellers; Golden Triangle Writers’ Conference; Detroit Writers’ Guild Annual Conference; Columbus Writers’ Conference; Georgia Writers’ Conference; Houston Writers’ Conference; Space Coast Writers’ Conference; Intl Symposium on Religion & Art; Utah Writers’ Conference; Minneapolis Writers’ Workshop; Eugene Writers’ Group; National Writers’ Assoc. South Florida Writers’ Conference.
Tips – 2016 Guide to Literary Agents Agents
Many writers don’t understand (or forget) that veteran agents have seen and heard tens of thousands of pitches (email, letter, phone, and person-to-person at writers’ conferences). Be prepared. Imagine us sitting in front of close to one thousand submissions (the total number we receive each month), with a goal of finding two new authors we want to work with. Take the competition seriously and do all you can to be the best. Read books on craft and marketing. Study your market and target your submissions. Write, edit, repeat. Build your promotional platform. Network. Treat your publishing career like a business by investing financially and hiring a book publishing consultant and or professional editor. Then find an agent who believes in you—with the knowledge, connections, and energy to make things happen.
Click here now to buy the 2016 Guide to Literary Agents on Amazon. If you do, make sure you buy the print edition. Not the eBook version (this is long and detailed reference book so you don’t want to read it on your computer or eBook reader). And you don’t want to buy the online subscription version offered on the Writers’ Digest website, either (it isn’t as thorough or accurate as the print version).
Regardless of whether you buy the 2016 Guide to Literary Agents
make sure you register now (below) for free access to…
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Our Directory of Literary Agents
Our Directory of Literary Agents is the most comprehensive (and accurate) list of literary agents in the world… plus it’s the easiest to use. Simply click here to enter our Directory of Literary Agents.
You’ll get instant access to:
* US and intl literary agents (1,200+ agents)
* Search by book genre/category (118 of them)
* Full-length agent biographies and photos
* AAR membership status
* Preferred query letter method (email, online form, postal mail)
* Links to agent websites and maps to their offices
* Personal email and postal addresses
If you liked this article about the 2016 Guide to Literary Agents
click here to read the next article in this 9-part series and
learn about Jeff Herman’s Directory of Agents.