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How to get a literary agent?

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Question by VulcanScienceAcademy: How to get a literary agent?
I’ve been doing research and everything but I was wondering if you have to be referred to the agent or not? I also would like to know where I can find an agent?
Links would be appreciated.
My book is horror/thriller/romance for young adults.

Best answer:

Answer by Tee
Now, I’m not a published author, but I am currently working on it!

I don’t know how “detailed” I can make my answer, but a couple months ago when I began looking into trying to get my book published I read many, MANY Yahoo! answers about getting published; I would suggest you read those if you want more info too (ie: search “how to publish my novel”, “publishers for (insert novel genre here)”, etc.).

From all the questions I’ve read, I can tell you that you definitely need a literary agent. You’re already at a good place, because literary agents look for novels that are basically perfect: that have been edited to the bone, don’t have any mistakes, etc. People have made it very clear that getting a literary agent is REALLY, REALLY hard (just like making it in the publishing industry in general); but if you are able to do so, you’ll be that much closer to achieving your dreams. Because agents read so many manuscripts a day (btw, make sure you draft is in manuscript format; because if it’s not that another reason agents will throw your manuscript into the slush pile), they only take on clients whose works they TRULY believe that a publisher will want. Because more major publishers don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts, you really need a literary agent, because otherwise you probably won’t be able to get your foot into the door at publishers like Scholastic, HarperCollins, Penguin, etc.

So yeah, it sound like your next step is finding a literary agent (who is reputable; remember that agents who ask you for money upfront are scams! They make money by getting a fraction of what you get once your book starts selling). Because they are the ones who find a publishing house that will want to make a deal on your book, it’s important that you find one. Now, this may take weeks, years; it all depends on (1) when they respond to your query (letter that you use to present your work to an agent; look up how to write a good query letter on the internet; or I just remembered that a REALLY good book to help you in ALL of this that a lot of people recommend is “The Writers Market”), and (2) whether or not they accept or reject you. Now I’ve been told this, so I want to tell you that you WILL get rejected by agents….they are VERY picky, so don’t be surprised that even with all the feedback you’ve gotten some agents might say no (and they often won’t tell you why or what to fix; so after a while it becomes up to you to figure that out, from whether it’s your query letter or your manuscript itself).

Huh, maybe I do know a lot more about this than I thought I could type up, haha.

So yeah; in short, after you get an agent, they will find you a publisher, and then your book goes into the process of being edited by their editors, choosing a font, choosing a book cover, etc…..

There is also the option of self-publishing (which can be done online). Now that is also “free” in that it doesn’t cost you anything because anyone can do it and say they are a “published author.” However, besides the fact that it’s a million times easier to get published this way than with an actual publisher, I don’t recommend self-publishing if you want to get even a small fan base. What I mean is 99.9% of self-published books never get beyond the scope of the writer’s friends and family. Your book will not be sold in bookstores, so the only thing you can do is pay to have it made and printed out (which costs money) so that you can hand them out to get people to read them (which takes time). Thus, the time and money you put into self-publishing is a lot, so I think this costs more than trying to find an agent and then a publisher. I know many people have gone to self-publishing as a last resort after being unsuccessful in finding an agent; so maybe you could do if after maybe getting like 100 rejections or something (because again, you WILL get rejected by agents) before turning to self-publishing.

hope this helps!!! good luck!!! 🙂

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