Excerpts

When to Search for a Literary Agent

Literary agents represent writers who want to submit their manuscripts to traditional publishers. Agents manage the submission process and negotiate the resulting contract. Here’s what else they might do for their clients: Advise on developmental edits. Manage relationships with publishers and editors. Handle crisises. Hunt down overdue royalty checks. Submit books...

Literary Agent Sound Off: Query Letter Basics

"Queries are business letters. Agenting is business. Publishing is business. I try to be nice and friendly and funny and all, but the bottom line is that I expect those with whom I work to be professional and take what they’re doing seriously." —Linda Epstein (Jennifer De Chiara Literary)

How I Got My Agent: Kerri Majors

“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Kerri Majors, author of THIS IS NOT A WRITING MANUAL. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads...

The Essential Parts of a Novel Synopsis

1. The Opening Hook You must start strong with the novel synopsis. Agents and editors want to be engaged when they're up at night, plowing through submissions. If they don't like the opening, they won't get through the rest of it.

What Agents Hate: Part II (Author 101 Series)

When writers try to get an agent, they are asked to run a difficult course, and run it under a microscope. Although the level of scrutiny that writers receive is huge, it is definitely surmountable. Read the following items that agents dislike and alter your approaches accordingly. Agents hate...

What Agents Hate (Author 101 Series)

When writers try to get an agent, they are asked to run a difficult course, and run it under a microscope. Although the level of scrutiny that writers receive is huge, it is definitely surmountable. Read the following items that agents dislike and alter your approaches accordingly. Agents...

2010 GLA Excerpt: How to Write a Book Proposal

The 2010 Guide to Literary Agents has arrived in bookstores and is available now. Needless to say, I am excited to see it in print.  I mean—just look at the book.  It looks like a delicious s’more. That is—a delicious s’more filled with tons of agent info and conference info and...

Agents Tell How To Start a Story Right

Les Edgerton, an author and pretty cool guy, talked to a lot of literary agents when writing his book Hooked, which is all about grabbing readers on page one and never letting them go. Les has shared some of the agent advice below for us!

2010 GLA Excerpt: How NOT To Get an Agent

The 2010 Guide to Literary Agents arrives in-house within one week and, needless to say, I am excited to see it in print.  I mean – just look at the book.  It looks like a delicious s’more.  That is – a delicious s’more filled with tons of agent info and conference...

2010 GLA Excerpt: Blogs, Facebook and Social Media

The 2010 Guide to Literary Agents arrives in-house within one week and, needless to say, I am excited to see it in print.  I mean – just look at the book.  It looks like a delicious s’more.  That is – a delicious s’more filled with tons of agent info and conference...

2010 GLA Excerpt: Writing the Query Letter

The 2010 Guide to Literary Agents arrives in-house within one week and, needless to say, I am excited to see it in print.  I mean – just look at the book.  It looks like a delicious s’more.  That is – a delicious s’more filled with tons of agent info and conference...

How To Write a Novel Synopsis (2009 GLA Excerpt)

The 2009 Guide to Literary Agents has been out for about a month and a half.  Inside the the newest edition fo the book, readers will find oddles of agent information concerning who’s looking for what and how to submit.  Also, the book has instructional articles on queries, synopses, proposals and...

2009 Article Excerpt: Assessing Credibility

I have officially wrapped up all editing on the 2009 Guide to Literary Agents. It’s over. Finally. Done.  (I. Love. Using. Periods.) To celebrate, I thought I’d post excerpts from the forthcoming upfront articles. 2009 Article Excerpt: The Scoop on Researching Agents “…Anybody can go to the neighborhood copy center and...

2009 Article Excerpt: Nonfiction Book Proposals

I have officially wrapped up all editing on the 2009 Guide to Literary Agents. It’s over. Finally. Done.  (I. Love. Using. Periods.) To celebrate, I thought I’d post excerpts from the forthcoming upfront articles. 2009 Article Excerpt: Agent Mollie Glick of FoundryLiterary + Media talksabout nonfiction book proposals. “…There are lots of ways...

Agent Pet Peeves (2009 GLA Article Excerpt)

I don’t why I didn’t post this earlier (probably because sickness and the LA conference have dominated my attention)… Anyway, I have officially wrapped up all editing on the 2009 Guide to Literary Agents. It’s over. Finally. Done.  (I. Love. Using. Periods.) To celebrate, I thought I’d post an excerpt from...

Words of Wisdom: Let Your Writing Sell the Work

Q. What’s the biggest mistake a writer makes when contacting you (about a novel)? “Trying to be a salesman never works for me; the material has to speak for itself. A writer who tells me everything he or she is going to do to promote a book doesn’t work either. Tell...

Words of Wisdom: Moving on to a New Agent

Q. I recently parted ways with my agent after a few years of representation. As I move forward, do I tell a prospective agent that I previously worked with another agent?  If I am fortunate enough to find another agent, do I send copies of the publishers’ rejection letters so there...

Querying Hollywood (2008 GLA Article Excerpt)

2008 Article Excerpt: Screenwriter Candy Davis talks about thedifferences between an agentand a manager in Hollywood. “…The first thing you need to know is that an “agent,” per se, is not necessarily the best target for a newbie writer unless you happen to be in his immediate family. An “agent” is...

Pitching an Agent (2008 GLA Article Excerpt)

2008 Article Excerpt: Literary agent Dan Lazar talks about howwriters can successfully pitch theirstory to an agent. “…It’s also important here to nail down some kind of central conflict. Again, try to avoid generic descriptions. A main character ‘finding himself’ is too generic. Generic = boring. Every character goes through internal...

The Evolution of Agenting (2008 GLA Article Excerpt)

2008 Article Excerpt: With the recent news that Imprint Agency is now FinePrint Literary Management (see last post), I wanted to post something else related to the merger. The principal of Imprint is the great agent Stephany Evans, who, it just so happens, penned an article this year for the upfront...