Getting a literary agent isn’t complicated if you follow these three simple steps: 1) The first step in getting a literary agent is researching literary agencies to find the ones that are the best fit. 2) The second step in getting a literary agent is preparing your pitch materials. 3) The third step in getting a literary agent is pitching your work.
This article is part of a 17-part series called Getting a Literary Agent.
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Getting a Literary Agent,
Before getting a literary agent you need to understand the different types of publishing agents and what they do, and you need to know which genre(s) or category your book best fits into. So, if you haven’t already looked at these other valuable guides on my website, take a moment to check them out now:
- A Guide to Literary Agents (don’t think about getting a literary agent until you read this primer)
- List of Literary Agents – Categories (getting a literary agent requires you to choose the right genre for your book)
Now back to the process of getting a literary agent…
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Step 1: Getting a Literary Agent
Find Appropriate Agents & Learn their Requirements
The first step toward getting a book agent is figuring out which ones want your type of book, and learning their requirements. The fastest and easiest way to do that is to use my Free Online Directory of Publishing Agents. It’s the most comprehensive and accurate Directory of Literary Agents in the world.
If you’re in the process of getting a book agent, access the Directory of Literary Agents now to find literary agencies looking for your genre (there are 116 categories in the directory). You’ll also be able to see profile photos and read full-length biographies, find out who’s a member of the AAR (Association of Authors’ Representatives), identify an agent’s preferred query method (email, online form, postal mail), get links to literary agency websites and maps to their offices, as well as get personal email and postal addresses.
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Step 2: Getting a Literary Agent
Prepare your Pitch Materials
The second step in getting a book agent is making sure you have all of your various pitch materials prepared.
- Query letter
- Book proposal
- Sample chapters
- Complete manuscript
If you don’t have all of those things ready yet, or you need help preparing them, that’s okay. This guide to getting a book agent is going to walk you through the entire process, step-by-step.
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Step 3: Getting a Literary Agent
Pitch your Book
The third step in getting a publishing agent is pitching your book. You’ll need to submit a 1-2 page pitch letter (query letter) to an individual agent at a literary agency. If the agency isn’t interested, you’ll get a rejection letter (or no response). If the agency is interested, you’ll be asked to send more material like a synopsis, book proposal, sample chapters, complete manuscript, etc.
After you submit more material, you’ll get a rejection letter (or no response) if they’re not interested. However, if the agency is considering representation, you’ll be asked to answer questions so the agent can figure out if the two of you are a good fit. Of course, you can ask the agent questions at that time as well. If your interaction goes well you’ll get an author-agent contract or agreement, though some agents only offer verbal agreements.
Now that you understand the process of getting a literary agent…
Click here to read the next article in this 17-part series
and see our Get a Literary Agent Checklist.