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Article:Finding a Good Agent

October 17, 2012

These days, finding reliable literary agents is undoubtedly herculean. Authors, more often than not, experience lots of set-backs in their search for agents who will accept their manuscripts. Most times, aspiring authors are the ones on the receiving end; they are rarely attended to. Why? Because many literary agents are fond dealing with established writers!

However, whether aspiring or established, you can still find a good literary agent for representation. However, before you go looking for that agent that will say a ‘yes’ to your query letter, there are certain assignments you must carry out.

1) Ensure you complete your manuscript: Your manuscripts should be completed.Be it in the fiction or non-fiction category, ensure that there is a completion of your work-piece. Then, you will have to properly edit and review it. After that, you need a pair of eyes or second review (preferably reviewed by an experienced writer or writing coach) for necessary corrections.

2) Write a good query letter: One of the reasons literary agents reject manuscripts of many authors is that the query letter sent is not ‘catchy’ enough. With piles of manuscripts received every month, they are usually left with no choice other than to decline the proposals. Writing a good query letter involves the inclusion of the literary genre of the manuscript, word count, synopsis, chapter samples and if need be, contact details of author. Search on the internet on ‘How To Write A Good Query Letter’

3) Begin your Search: With the use of the internet, the search for literary agents gets easier. It should be advised that you do not fall victim in the hands of literary ‘scammers’ (agents who charge reading fees). Please, ensure that when you get the  literary agents searched for, read carefully the submissions guidelines (authors, sometimes, get it wrong at this point, when they do not read the instructions of agents searched for) before you submit. You should not be charged for any reading fee when you are submitting your manuscripts to agents. Take your time to submit your manuscript to as many agents as is a search site for literary agents. You can also ‘google’  ‘lists of literary agents’ on the internet.

4) Be prepared for rejections; At this point, it will not be out of place to let you know that the literary industry is subjective. Many literary steps and decisions are personal. Therefore, do not be surprised that despite your following strictly the submission guidelines of the literary agencies you submitted to, you work(s) were rejected. John Grisham’s ‘A Time To Kill’ and J.K Rowling’s ‘Harry Porter’ were rejected several times based on sentimental attachments, not necessarily  based on merit.Today, their works are household names in the world.

5) Never give up on your search: keep searching and believe in yourself you will find one. As you do so, polish your already-completed manuscript.

When you eventually get that ‘yes, i will represent you’ agent, i need a job: to be a part of your success! Lol


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