How Do You Find a Literary Agent?

How Do You Find a Literary Agent?

To find a literary agent, list agents who represent authors of books published in the past year or two that you enjoyed or that fit your genre. Write a query letter to each agent. If they show interest, send a few chapters or the manuscript, depending on the agent's guidelines.

  1. Create a list of literary agents

    Compile a list of books you enjoyed in the past year or two that fit the genre of the work you are submitting. Check the acknowledgements page to get the agent's name. If it is not there, contact the publisher's publicity wing to get the agent's name. You can also head to a bookstore, or several bookstores. Find the section that fits your genre. Go through books that catch your eye for some reason, compelling cover or good first few pages, for example. Write down the names of the authors' agents. Go online to find the agents' submission rules.

  2. Send query letters

    Send five query letters at a time; most agents are fine with simultaneous submissions, and many prefer emails rather than printed letters. Tailor each letter to match the agent's guidelines. Wait for any possible feedback before starting the next round of five letters. Tweak the letters as necessary.

  3. Send requested material

    Send the material the agent requests once you have their interest. Some agents ask for the first three chapters, while others ask for your entire manuscript. Follow guidelines exactly.

  4. Sign a contract

    Review the contract carefully; a lawyer can help. Be familiar with the agent's other clients. Know for what charges you are responsible, and what percent of the profit the agent has agreed to pass on to you. Before you sign, make sure the agent has a plan for your book and that you approve of it.