10 Best Resources to Find a Literary Agent – And Sell Your Book to a Top Publisher
Your book. In the hands of a literary agent who loves you. Next year.
I have been cleaning house. Literally. My office. My computer. Assessing. Evaluating.
Clearing out the old to bring in the new for next year.
And….I found this extensive list of literary agents in many different genres that I had created a while back for you: 10 Best Resources to Find a Literary Agent: And Sell Your Book to a Top Publisher
Download it here.
Here is another resource.
Authors who are seeking to be traditionally published want to find a literary agent who has contacts at all the top publishing houses.
And who absolutely adores you and is willing to work with you on crafting your book proposal – which is essential to securing a top notch publisher. To write a book proposal you want to make sure you’re doing two things:
- Follow the instructions on how to write a book proposal that includes all the essential elements a literary agent and book publisher need to see that proves your idea is viable and that you’re the right person to write this book.One of the most important elements in any non-fiction book proposal is your platform. Which means your reach. Your online and offline presence and ability to sell books. It includes your email lists size, your speaking engagements, your blogging and website statistics and more.
Want to know why our Gluten Free cookbook didn’t pass muster with my agent? No platform. My friend Karen Leland and I wanted to recreate our favorite childhood recipes – gluten free. However…. we don’t have a following and are not famous — in the realm of cooking. Nor have we been on a competitive cooking show (unlike my two clients who have been on The Next Iron Chef). Our book proposal failed because we didn’t have a platform.
Here’s the video we put in our proposal to show that we could handle ourselves on camera.
2. Pay attention to the literary agent’s guidelines for how they want the book proposal formatted.
For example, my agent wants the proposal to be in a sans serif font like Arial or Verdana for easy online reading. By the way, even though he’s my agent I reviewed his website on how to format my manuscript and to make sure I was giving him my book proposal in the way he wanted it. I wasn’t aware of some of his requests like.. he doesn’t want paragraphs separated by line spaces. He wants them indented. These may seem like trivial requests, but since agents like mine review over 1000 unsolicited manuscripts every month these kind of details make for easy reading — and could make a critical difference if a literary agent is on the fence about your work. You want your chosen literary agent to feel excited about working with you — not frustrated.
Here is a paragraph from his website about making your book proposal interactive:
Accessibility. In most cases, editors and publishers (the publisher is the business person who runs the publishing house – s/he’s the editor’s boss) are often very young, often in their 20’s or 30’s. So you need to try to make the proposal as accessible as possible. This means that you should consider using charts, side bars, graphics, tests, and so forth to make the proposal as interactive as possible, as well as to make it look interesting on the page: remember that you’re giving this to somebody who was raised on TV, so s/he may have a very short attention span. Of course, the extent of the “look” of your proposal really depends on the subject matter – so if you’re dealing with very serious subject matter, and we’ll be targeting an academic or very serious house, you need less of the “look”; but a more commercial house may require more bells and whistles.
Jerry Jenkins has recently released an in-depth blog post on how to write a winning book proposal (both fiction and nonfiction) to agents and publishers based on everything he’s learned from 40+ years of experience in the industry and his 190+ written books.
Want help with your book proposal? Ping me here.
Want to do it yourself? I’ve got you covered.
I hope you find the literary agent who is right for you!
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