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Six Steps to Getting a Literary Agent – Part 2
Welcome to part 2 of this mini-series on finding a literary agent. Without wasting any more time, let’s start with step 4.
Step 4 – Introduce Yourself to Your Targets
You narrowed your list down, now find them and introduce yourself. You might find your target agents have social media accounts. Make yourself known to them, in the right way, by being active and using best practices. Try retweeting some of their authors, commenting on Facebook posts, and so on. Don’t jump straight in and ask them to represent you – let them get to know your name first.
Step 4 – Send a Professional Query Letter
Once you have introduced yourself and made yourself known to an agent, send them a professional query letter. Name drop if you can or remind them that they know of you, perhaps through social media, and they will be more likely to respond to you. If you were referred by another person, then being professional is even more important, for your contact’s sake as much as anything. Ensure your letter has these elements and do proofread it before it gets sent:
One sentence detailing your connection, where you met or heard them or who you were referred by.
What genre your book is or what type of book it is.
A couple of sentences detailing the gist of the book – these really need to sell your book.
A bit of background – why did you write this book, for example? Have you had any positive feedback from any sources in the business?
What your credentials are, has your work been published before, etc.
Step 5 – Say Thank You!
For whatever it is – thank whoever referred you to the agent, thank the agent for taking time out to look at your proposal, thank anyone who gives it for positive or constructive feedback. People who are polite and pleasant always get remembered. You may not be successful this time, but who knows what lies down the road? Plus, we all know saying thanks is the right thing to do.
Step 5 – Repeat – As Often as You Need To
If you get a positive response and you land yourself an agent, well done! Many authors have to try several agents before they find one willing to invest time in them. If you are not successful first time around but you got some constructive and specific feedback on certain areas, work on that feedback for your next draft manuscript. Keep trying!
Don’t let rejections get you down. Keep on writing, keep taking the feedback and polishing your work until it really is the best it can be. The better your writing is, the more it shows that you know your target market and you know your target audience. That makes you look good in the eyes of an agent so don’t give up.
Writing is a tough job and not many people are successful at it. Those that are successful are truly successful and become big names. You don’t need to aim that high on your first book; landing an agent is an excellent start on the right path.
Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Anne-Marie Reynolds