Writer’s Digest’s Guide to Literary Agents Blog

This excellent blog is dedicated to sharing the latest and greatest instruction and information on literary agents, literary agencies, query letters, submissions, publishing, author platform, book marketing, and more.


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Agent Gordon Warnock Explains Author Platforms: Why You Need One & How to Use It to Secure Representation — Oct. 10 Webinar With Critique

Platform -- your ability to market yourself and your books -- has become increasingly important in the modern publishing world. What was once of concern only to authors of prescriptive nonfiction is now an integral part of successfully publishing fiction and nonfiction, both traditionally and independently. This is especially true for debut authors looking...

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Make the Most of your Indie Bookstore Event

It’s important to realize that the speaking/reading/signing engagement is the tip of an iceberg, promotionally. Whether you have dozens of people lined up for you, or you fight off the despair that creeps in when the seats are empty, your event should yield more publicity and generate more sales than what hits the register...

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7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Natasha Solomons

1. Hearing voices in your head isn’t a bad thing if you’re a writer. When I start to hear voices in my head, it’s a good sign. It means that my characters are coming to life. When I start something new, I’m always waiting for that moment, when, Golem-like, my characters will take on...

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Agent Anna Olswanger Puts Out a Call For New Submissions

About Anna: Anna Olswanger has been an agent with Liza Dawson Associates for eight years. In addition to being a literary agent, Anna is the author two children's books: Shlemiel Crooks, a Sydney Taylor Honor Book and PJ Library Book, and Greenhorn, an illustrated novel for middle grade readers. In 2011, a family musical...

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Agent Advice: Brian J. Wood of Brian J. Wood Literary Agency

Based in Vancouver, Canada, agent Brian J. Wood of the Brian J. Wood Literary Agency enjoys bringing compelling sports stories to the marketplace. He is dedicated, passionate and has worked with Canada's top sports television personalities. He represents: nonfiction, specializing in sports titles. He represents both Canadian writers and American writers.

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If You Build It, They Will Come: Letting Agents Come to You

I didn’t get my agent the traditional way. I found agent Michelle Brower of Folio Literary through a different route. I tried the traditional way, of course. I sent queries, I sent chapters, I sent samples and stories and clever letters, but they didn’t work. In the end, an agent approached me. You could say...

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New Literary Agent Alert: Adam Muhlig of McIntosh & Otis

About Adam: He was formerly Director of Rare Books and Manuscripts at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. Muhlig has been active as an independent appraiser of literary materials, including books, original manuscripts, letters, and other archival materials, for over fifteen years. His clients include authors, composers, performers, libraries, archives, and other private and public educational institutions...

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7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Jeanne Matthews

1. Keep your manuscript, not your head, in the clouds. I used to be casual and nonchalant about saving my writing to a remote server – until a heartless perp broke down my front door, rampaged through my house, and stole my computer containing my manuscripts and research notes, pictures, blogs in progress, and...

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5 Easy Steps to Conquer the Heartache of Rejection

There is no writer, no matter how famous and fabulous, who doesn’t deal with rejection. One might say that the difference between a published writer and an unpublished writer is that one of them was persistent in the face of rejection and the other one simply folded. I say, don’t let rejection bury you!...

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Working with a Publishing House Editor

Prior to working with Susan Swinwood, senior editor of Mira Books, my only experience with editors dated back to my college days. A short story called “ The Sand Castle” was picked up for our college literary magazine. The editor said he loved my story, but added that it could use “a spot of...

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Literary Agent Andy Ross Seeks Clients and Queries

Andy is seeking: "My agency represents books in a wide range of subjects including: narrative nonfiction, science, journalism, history, current events, and fiction. For nonfiction, I look for writing with a strong voice, robust arc, and books that tell a big story about culture and society by authors with the authority to write about...

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7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by M.M. Vaughan

1) Don’t send your manuscript out to every agent at once. I learned this by mistake. I made a list of twelve agents that I wanted to send my book to and prepared a submission pack for each one. I then realized that I only had three stamps so I sent three out and...

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6 Keys to Revising Your Fiction

1) Make sure you’re in love. I’m not a genius, my stories are not born lovely and perfect, their language strong, their plot lean and exciting. I have to work at it—a lot. And I don’t mind, because I enjoy editing. But I know there’s a big difference between revising a story I love...

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Agent Advice: Carole Jelen of Waterside Productions

This interview features Carole Jelen, vice president at Waterside Productions. As publishing agent for two decades and coauthor of Creating Your Author Platform: The New Rules, this former publishing executive and editor has worked with innovators including Steve Jobs, and is designated as a “Career Builder” literary agent. Among her slew of unique specialties...