HOW TO FIND AN AGENT
….The first step in finding an authors’ representative is to write something that will interest the representative. The writing must be good or the subject-matter important before anyone will represent you. But, basically, you find a representative exactly as you find a publisher:
- Write a one-page query, making clear what your book is about in one or two sentences. Be professional.
- Write a five- to ten-page synopsis, outlining your book chapter by chapter or event by event. Some editors don't like synopses with novels, but almost every representative and many editors will request one.
- Book titles should be clear and immediately intriguing but generally not based on catchy phrases or puns. A book may go through several title changes before its final title is established.
- If you have significant publishing credits, cover your publishing background in your letter. (If you don’t, your letter should be brief.) Whatever you do, don’t emphasize your lack of track record.
- Send the query, synopsis, and letter with the first chapter of your book to an agent or manager by name. A list of authors’ representatives can be found in Jeff Herman’s Writer’s Guide to Book Editor, Publishers and Literary Agents, as well as in LMP (Literary Market Place). [click here to purchase]
- You can send your presentation (query, synopsis, and letter) to as many authors’ representatives as you like. Agents and literary managers will understand that this is only a query that doesn’t oblige either of you. Mail—or email, depending on the representative’s preference--ten to fifteen presentations at a time, as you can afford it.
- Plan several mailings in advance in order to avoid rejection syndrome. If a representative expresses interest, call the representative and ask how this particular representative can help you.
© Kenneth Atchity 1986, 1995, 1999