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Finding a literary agent. Three top tips.


1. The internet is the place to start.

Yes, there are various printed guides available detailing literary agents, publishers and other industry professionals. But things change rapidly, and you need to stay up to the minute. Careful research is essential, and that means trawling hundreds of websites and building a comprehensive picture of the industry. There are thousands of literary agents looking for the next bestseller. But most can be discounted immediately (wrong genre, wrong criteria, wrong country even, etc). You need to read the blogs of literary agents, where available. You need to trawl the websites of published writers. You need to keep up with literary news. Research is the key.


2. Visit book fairs.

Making face to face contact with literary agents is a very good way to clinch a representation deal. If possible, you should attend whatever book trade fairs are accessible and directly pitch your target literary agent. Finding the right agents also requires a little detective work. So do your internet research, check whatever printed directories you can find, make a list and start hunting. Face to face meetings with literary agents help establish a rapport. It elevates you above the anonymous. It gives you a chance to sell your book.


3. Ask literary agents for recommendations.

This needs careful handling. But most literary agents have a pretty good knowledge of what's going on in the publishing world and know who's hungry, and who isn't. So be polite and simply ask the right questions. And when you find that agent and are ready to have your manuscript improved, contact me by email; I'll do what I can to ensure your success.


Visit my writers workshop for professional literary criticism,

plus help and advice on manuscript submission,  how to find a literary agent,
how to write a literary agent query letter, how to plot a novel, and how to get published.