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Hundreds of Helpful Articles

We have created hundreds of articles on topics all authors face in today’s literary landscape. Get help and advice on Writing, Marketing, Publishing, Social Networking, and more. Each article has a Comments section so you can read advice from other authors and leave your own.

What Are Agents Looking For?

So you have completed your book. Huge sigh of relief. Didn’t think you could do it, but you did. If you thought writing the book was the hardest part, you were mistaken. You will discover this to be the case when you begin to look for a publisher or literary agent. So how do you get anyone to invest in your book rather than the hundreds of others on their desk? Here are some tricks I have discovered along my journey.

An agent or publisher will expect the writer to know who will buy the book and not the other way round. The writer normally expects the agent to know what audience to market the book to, but this is not the case. So ensure you put as much effort into your marketing plan as into the content of your book. Ask yourself who will buy your book and why they should choose to spend their money on your work rather than another writer. What is unique about your story? Create an eye catching byline for your book. Get as many reviews for your book as possible. What sections of the book do they comment on the most?

Get your facts straight. Your book must resonate with the reader first and foremost. Ensure your characters are realistic and not caricatures of a hero or villain. Remember readers buy books on topics or genres that they have an interest in so they will probably know what is good and what is dire. Your dialogue must be spot on and your facts researched for accuracy.

What subjects are popular these days? Romance? Comedy? Fantasy? Agents and publishers are looking for genres that are hot and big sellers. They are looking for a sale so remember to include in your query letter why your genre and in particular your book is in huge demand.

Do your research. Before sending out dozens of query letters, do a little digging into your chosen agent or publisher. An excellent place to start is LinkedIn. What are their passions? What films or books have they enjoyed or published in past? You can then weave the similarities into your query, if there is one to your book.

Look at current best sellers in your genre. Read the reviews on the book and see what the reader enjoyed most. Again if there are similarities to your book and you can offer a similar reading experience, then remember to mention it in your query letter. Publishing is a money making business and they need to be convinced to invest time and money in your work, so take the marketplace seriously.

Finally, check out my other article on different ways to market your book. Put as many of these into action. Whether you have managed to create a huge following for your book or have received great reviews, let the publisher know that readers believe your book is the next blockbuster. Even if the ideas you come up with are crazy, it shows agents and publishers that you are committed to working on a strategic marketing plan.


Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Lesley Jones