So you’ve just completed those special and emotive words “The End” on the final page of your book. While the character’s in your book’s story and journey has come to an end, it is only really just beginning for your book. What is the next step to getting the fruits of your labour published? Finding and getting a literary agent. There is no use pretending, getting a literary agent can be an intimidating and nerve-wracking experience. However, to help make the process less frightening here are 5 tips you should utilize when looking for a literary agent.
Write Something Spectacular
Although it may sound obvious, until you have worked for an agency and read through some of the submissions, you will never understand how important it is that you write something that is your very best work. Don’t let dreams of bestseller status and winning the Booker Prize distract you from actually writing something very good. It can be hard to get a literary agent even if you are holding onto the best book ever written, so don’t make it harder fr yourself than by sending a manuscript that is anything less than the best you can give.
Carefully Choose Your Targets
Rather than just aiming for agents who receive good write-ups in interviews or biographies or on their website pages; you need to choose one that is suited to the genre an style of your book. If you write a sci-fi classic and choose to go after literary agents from the non-fiction end of the spectrum, they are not going to be able to help you much or want to help you at all. Not only will they not understand the effort that goes into your craft but they wont have the right connections t the right editors in that genre.
Strictly Follow The Submission Guidelines
Rather than choosing to send your manuscript out in the manner you want it to be presented, it is advisable to look and pay attention to the submission requirements for specific literary agents as they are all very different. If you don’t, your book might not even make it anywhere near the literary agents “must read” pile.
Write A Great Query Letter
As you don’t have a second chance to make the best first impression, it is important that you make sure you write a great query letter. Make sure you give the same amount of time, relatively, to your query letter that you gave to your actual book.
It can often feel like an eternity when you have sent your book off to the literary agents and are waiting for them to respond. However, you have to remember that most literary agents receive thousands and thousands of books every day; that they have to look through. Find something to do to take your mind off the wait and avoid taking it personally or imagining the worst.
Hopefully you will find the process of finding a literary agent a lot easier and less stressful by following the above tips. When looking for the right literary agent you could also make use of the Agent Hunter service, which many people have found effective.