7 Pro Tips to Find a Literary Agent for Your Book

by heatfeed

As a writer, it will be your dream to have your book published by a major publishing house. But the fact is, most writers will never see their work in print unless they first have a literary agent by their side who is willing to represent them and get them a perfect book deal from a reputable publishing house. 

However, it’s important to note that not all literary agents are created equal. There are some experienced and qualified ones, and then there are some new ones with little to no market knowledge. That’s why it’s important to do proper research before you sign the agreement. 

The good news is that there are some tried and true methods for finding a literary agent who will be the perfect fit for you and your book. Keep reading to learn 7 pro tips to find one for your book. 

Finish Editing Your Book First

You’ve written a book, and now you’ll be compelled to hire a literary agent. But before you start finding agents, you should first finish editing your book. You can either edit your manuscript independently or hire a professional editor to help you polish your manuscript before you start submitting it to agents. 

After your book has been thoroughly edited and proofread, now will be the time to get started with finding an agent. Not only will this approach make your book more likely to get picked up by an agent, but it will also make it more likely to get published by a traditional publishing house. 

Consult Multiple Literary Agents

Start with clarifying, “what is a literary agent?” Also, identify what they will do to make your book a hit. After you understand their job responsibilities, you’ll need to start consulting with multiple agents before you decide. This will give you a chance to see which agent is the best fit for you and your work.

It is important to find an agent who is knowledgeable about the genre you are writing in and has connections in the publishing industry. Try to find someone who is going to be a good advocate for you and your work and will land you the best possible publishing and royalty deals. 

To ensure this, it is advised to ask about their experience, client list, and success rate in previous projects. Also, hire someone you are comfortable working with and are serious about their job. 

Prepare a List of Questions to Ask 

When you are on the hunt to find the best-suited literary agent for your project, it is advised to prepare a list of questions you can ask each one of them during brief interviews. It is easy to forget the questions even if you have memorized them for so long, so it’s best to write them down. Ask questions, including:

⦁ What is your communication style?

⦁ How much experience do you have in my genre?

⦁ Where do you see my book going?

⦁ How much more editing I’ll need to do? and

⦁ What other books have you published in my genre?

By asking these questions and some others you have in your mind, you can make sure you find an agent who’ll make your book a hit.

Write an Effective Query Letter

It’s no secret that the path to getting published can be somewhat difficult, and one of the best things you can do to increase your chances of getting published and landing an experienced literary agent is to write an effective query letter. 

For starters, a query letter is a letter that is sent to a literary agent or publishing house in an attempt to interest them in your book. While writing the letter, make sure to use single-space formatting and keep it to one page to make it concise and to the point. 

While there is no guarantee that an effective query letter will result in getting your book published, it is definitely a step in the right direction. 

By simply calling or emailing a literary agent, you can’t demonstrate your abilities, and it will be difficult to develop their interest in your book. An effective query letter, on the other hand, will provide them with a touch of your writing style and your abilities as an author.

Don’t Mass Mail

Many writers will mass-mail the literary agents without first understanding their area of expertise and the genre they work in. Believe us; this is a complete waste of time. Not every agent listed on the online platforms is a good fit for your book. 

So, what we’ll advise you to do is to filter some literary agents based on their specialties and the genre you’re writing in. After this, you’ll have to email them and write a query letter about how they’ll be a good fit for your book and what makes your book worth representing.

Follow the Submission Directions

Every literary agent has their own submission guidelines, and it’s important to keep them in mind when submitting your query letter or mail. This includes specifying the genre of your work, the word count, and whether you are submitting a synopsis or the full manuscript. 

Some agents will also have specific directions about the email attachments. For example, if an agent lists ‘no attachments’ in their guidelines, then it’s mandatory to put nothing along with your email. If you do not follow the submission directions, the agent may not even read your letter, let alone consider representing you. 

Following their guidelines will represent you as a detail-oriented person, and you’ll be more likely to get a deal from them. 

Use References

The best way you can find a qualified literary agent is to use references from other authors in your industry. To make sure of this, you’ll have to develop a strong network of collaborators and writers. Once you have good relations within your industry, other authors are most likely to refer you to a literary agent they find trustful.

You can also get references by putting your query on online author platforms and portals. It will enable you to find agents who are experts in their genre.