How to Find a Literary Agent For You
You finished your book, you polished it up to perfection, and you're ready to publish it. So, the next question is: Literary Agent or no Literary Agent?
If you wish to self-publish your book, you will not need a Literary Agent. If you want to follow the traditional publishing route, you will more than likely need a Literary Agent. Yes, some publishing houses will accept submission with no Agent representation, but to make sure you get the best deals and best situations with your book, you will need an Agent.
What do you need to do first to get an Agent?
- Always research Agents! Seriously, research research research. Know who you will be getting involved with. Look at their profiles online. If you're able to meet them in-person at conferences, ask them questions. Make sure they are legit. If they're not legit, some possible red flags are: they charge a fee for everything, they agree to take you as a client if you pay for their editing service, and they urge you to take a deal with a publisher that requires a fee upfront to publish you (a publisher will NEVER demand money from you). These are all big no-no's!
How do you find Agents?
- Online is going to be the most thorough route. Google agencies. Check out Publishers Weekly. Follow #mswl (manuscript wish list) hashtag on Twitter (there is a MSWL website, as well). There will also be pitching contests and parties on Twitter! QueryTracker is my personal favorite. You can also pitch to them in-person at conferences.
Why do I need an Agent?
- In short, you need one to sell books to traditional publishers. They negotiate book deals to earn you better terms and more money, they help guide your career and seek more opportunities for you, they answer your questions, help in foreign + movie/TV deals, and so much more!
Your Literary Agent is going to be your best friend and hold your hand through the publishing world. As I always like to tell my clients, you two are in it for the long haul, so make sure to find one you'd want to be stranded on an island with!