Writers’ literary agents are a lot easier to find if you know which genre or category your book best fits into. You’ll also have an easier time once you know whether you want to work with a book agent that’s a generalist or a specialist.
I’m going to help you with both of those things below, so you can be sure you’re finding writers’ literary agents that are perfect for you. This article is part of a 15-part series called All You Need to Know About Finding a Literary Agent.
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Writers’ Literary Agents: Choosing the Right Category
Finding writers’ literary agents in your genre is impossible if you don’t know which genre your book belongs in.
And, if you classify your book incorrectly when you’re in the process of finding writers’ literary agents, it’s the kiss of death. If you get your genre wrong, you’ll look like an amateur. If you don’t assign a category to your book, you look like an even bigger amateur.
Sorry, it’s the truth.
So (if you haven’t already done so), click here now to read this other article by me that will help you compile a well-targeted list of literary agents, including how to choose the best genre for your book.
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Writers’ Literary Agents that Are Specialists
A couple years ago I bought a slightly used Jaguar car from a private owner. Jaguar doesn’t have the greatest reputation when it comes to reliability, and I knew that their parts and service wouldn’t be cheap.
I went to my local dealership to buy an extended warranty. That way I’d never have to worry about mechanical problems. The dealership was one of those huge complexes with different buildings for Jaguar, Volvo, and Ford.
When I bought the warranty, the salesman told me that I’d be able to get the car serviced anytime at their Jaguar garage or their Ford garage (or any other Ford or Jaguar dealer in the United States if I was traveling).
Then he asked me which garage I thought I would be using.
I laughed in his face (politely, of course).
“Are you serious?” I asked, “Why would any Jaguar owner take their car to the Ford garage for service when they could go to the Jaguar garage?”
The salesman seemed genuinely surprised, then went on to defend the quality of the service provided by their Ford mechanics.
If you owned a Jaguar car, would you want a mechanic at a Ford dealership working on it… or a mechanic at the Jaguar dealer?
Yes, I’m sure the Ford mechanics are professional and well-trained. But I’d bet money on the fact that the Jaguar mechanics know a lot more about my car. And they can troubleshoot problems in a lot less time.
After all, Jaguars are their specialty.
Same goes for writers’ literary agents.
If you’re writing young adult fiction and you find writers’ literary agents that specialize in young adult fiction, you’ll be better off with those book agents 9 times out of 10. Writers’ literary agents that are specialists have more knowledge and experience that they can use to help develop your book and sell your book.
Writers’ literary agents that are specialists are more familiar with the norms and subtle best practices of your category. Writers’ literary agents are also intimate with the diverse interests and backlists of editors and publishers in your genre.
Finding writers’ literary agents in your genre is easy. Just stay on the lookout for writers’ literary agents that are specialists. And do your best to stay away from dabblers (who might have sold only one or two titles in your genre).
Click here to read the next article in this 15-part series,
and learn about the Old School Literary Agent.