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  • Guide to Literary Agents

Self-Publishing and Agents

If you’re thinking about self-publishing, check out Blue Ash Publishing, the self-publishing arm of Writer’s Digest. Blue Ash Publishing all the tools and know-how you need to properly write, publish and sell your book. Plus, it’s customizable, so you can get the right package to fit your needs. Check out all the Blue Ash Publishing packages here.

Have You Successfully Marketed Your Self-Published Book? Then WD Wants to Hear From You!

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Calling all self-published / independent book & e-book authors: Tell us about the promotional strategies that worked for you, and you and your book(s) could get even more visibility in the pages of Writer’s Digest magazine.

We’re looking for the inside stories from indie authors who’ve developed successful strategies for marketing their own books. If you credit your self-made promotional strategy for your book’s popularity, profitability or sales, we’d love to hear the details of what you did, how you did it, and what you’ve learned. Your insights—alongside your bio and information about your book—could appear in the pages of Writer’s Digest magazine. Read more

The Opportunities of Self-Publishing E-Books — Tips From the San Francisco Writers Conference

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With each passing year, the prevalence of self publishing topics at writing conferences continues to grow. The 2012 San Francisco Writers Conference held true to that trend. By my count, one-sixth of the seminars centered around the topic of self-publishing.

The anticipated industry evolution is no longer coming; it’s here. Data provided by leading experts speaking at the conference like Mike Coker, founder of Smashwords, is clear: 2011 saw explosive growth in ebook sales and 2012 is forecasted as another record breaking year. So when I saw a seminar about the transition from traditional publishing to self publishing on the conference agenda, I arranged my schedule accordingly. Evidently, so did many others; the venue was standing room only. A sign of the times. Read more

More Than 60 Agents Will Be Taking Pitches at the 2012 Writer’s Digest Conference

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The 2012 Writer’s Digest Conference (Jan. 20-22, 2012) is coming up fast and promises to be a blast. We have incredible presenters lined up to instruct, fun sessions to attend, and, of course the gigantic Agent Pitch Slam that features the largest gathering of literary agents (more than 60 literary agents this year!) at any writing conference in the country. Last year, we had about 55, but the conference attendance was so outstanding that we felt lines were too long for each agent. That’s why our solution this year is “more agents, more time.” Read on. Read more

How I Got My Agent: David Kazzie

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the GLA blog. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. To see the previous installments of this column, click here. If you have a literary agent and would be interested in writing a short guest column for this GLA blog, e-mail me at literaryagent@fwmedia.com and we’ll talk specifics.

David Kazzie’s debut novel, The Jackpot, is now available as an eBook at Amazon.com, BN.com and through Smashwords.com. Read more

Avoid the Perils of Self-Publishing: Webinar on April 28, 2011

As the avenues and options and limits of self-publishing continue to evolve, it’s a lot for a writer to wrap their head around. Lucky for us, we’ve got indie author fan favorite … Read more

From Self-Published Success to Agented Author


For a new writer, finding an agent sometimes feels like you’ve been sent on a snipe hunt. Other writers insist they are out there, tout the glories of bagging one, and share their wild adventure stories about when they got theirs. But are agents really out there? If so, how do you get one? I searched for an agent in the same way most people do—through trial and error querying. My queries improved over time. My book summaries got better. I learned more about how to get published as I went along. But after two finished books and hundreds of thanks-but-no-thanks letters, I adopted a new philosophy: “If you build it, he will come.”

Guest column by Colleen Houck, whose first book, Tiger’s Curse, claimed the #1 spot on Kindle’s children’s bestseller list for seven weeks. The book arrived in print in Jan. 2011. Read more

Footnotes: 4 Articles on Self-Publishing

Footnotes is a recurring series on the GLA blog where I pick a subject and provide several interesting articles on said topic. This week, I’m serving up four articles on self-publishing. 1. … Read more

Agent Advice: Diane Freed of FinePrint Literary Management


This installment features Diane Freed of FinePrint Literary Management in Manhattan. Diane has been in the book publishing field her entire career, and with FinePrint since 2006. She owned and managed an independent publishing services company, edited reference books for U.S. News & World Report, and has coordinated book promotional campaigns for Time-Life Books.

She is seeking: Diane is looking for nonfiction projects in the categories of advice/relationships, spirituality, inspiration, health/fitness, memoir, narrative nonfiction, popular culture, lifestyle, women’s issues, the environment, and humor. Her fiction interests generally are commercial and literary fiction, including women’s commercial fiction. Diane accepts e-mail submissions only. Read more

My Thoughts on Seth Godin's Piece Regarding Literary Agents

Seth Godin, best-selling author and all-around successful business guru, recently posted a column called “Where Have All the Agents Gone?”  In it, basically, he talks about how “middlemen” such as stock brokers, real … Read more

Speaking of Agents and Self-Published Books

A few days ago, I got word from agent extraordinare Sharlene Martin about a self-published book she picked up and sold for big money in an auction.  (Congrats, Sharlene.) Media Bistro has … Read more

Querying Agents for a Self-Published Book

Q. What is the proper procedure for a self-published author, who is interested in finding an agent and going to a second printing with a mainstream publisher? Is it a faux pas … Read more

Querying About a Self-Published Book

The most recent issue of Writer’s Digest is all about finding an agent, and I was lucky enough to contribute three articles. One article in the issue is all about life after … Read more

Should You Mention Your POD Work in a Query?

Q: I just purchased the 2008 Guide to Literary Agents. I am an author of three books, all of them published by POD publishers. Looking at the agents’ requirements, some only except … Read more

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 … Read more

Recommended Life Stories and Memoirs to Read

As author Bob Mayer wisely put it, writers’ first books tend to be blood-lettings. What that means is writers compose stories about their own lives (memoirs or life stories) – for catharsis, or … Read more

Concerning Literary Agents and Self-Publishing: Part 2


This past weekend at a writers’ conference, I heard a lot of good information from fellow presenters regarding why many books are self-published, as well as the realities about how self-published books that tell a writer’s personal story almost never get picked up by big houses. Read more

Agent Advice: Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary


This installment features Chip MacGregor, founder of MacGregor Literary in Portland, Ore. In addition to Chip’s many years of agenting, he is also the author of several books and a veteran of the publishing industry.

He is seeking: While his clients write in a variety of genres in adult fiction and nonfiction, each writes from a Christian perspective. Though the agency does represent new, unpublished writers, Chip prefers to receive first contact with a writer through a referral or at a writers’ conference. Read more