If you are trying to sell a book to publishers, agents are what you need. However, the exchange is not like a store, where you go up to them and say “sell my book,” and they do. They must believe in your work. You sell the book to them, and they’ll sell the book to publishers. The most important key to succeeding before sending your work off to agents is making sure your book is completely ready to be published – that you’ve done everything necessary to make it as perfect as it can be. Once you think the story can’t get any better, let is sit for a while. Sleep on it, think on it and pick it back up later after your mind has rested. Re-read it. Make sure it says precisely what you want it to say, and that it can be understood by those who may not have ever read it before (which is where professional editors can help the most).
Before finding an agent, you must understand how they work. Most agents primarily take on novels or larger works, so poetry, essays or short stories are not large enough to need the extra help. Most of the time, the smaller portions of writing can still be published, but usually with other works by various authors.
Although you may get a literary agent to help you out, it doesn’t hurt to do a little research of your own. Find out about other publishers that are publishing stories like yours – the same genre, style or purpose that your book is in. Then, you can find what agents have helped those authors publish those kinds of books. Lists are a writer’s best friend, so make a list and rank different publishers and agents according to the similarity between the books they’ve published and your book. That will often determine the likeliness of said publisher and/or agent taking an interest in your work.
Finding an agent is a big step in your writing career, so it’s important to know all the facts behind getting one. We will begin discussing what to look for in an agent and the proper steps to getting one that works for you rather than against you. Every step in the process matters if you’re going to get your little darling published.
FROM THE WRITER
This is a blog site where tips, information and other help is given to fellow writers in need of a brush up, a tip or a source. Comment, share or just enjoy!