Editors Blog

The 2012 Guide to Literary Agents Is Out! That Means Giveaways and 22 Reasons to Buy It.

The book is out and available in major bookstores!

The new 2012 edition of Guide to Literary Agents is out, all updated and packed with info. I realize there are other places you can turn to for information on agents, but the Guide to Literary Agents has always prided itself as being the biggest (we list almost every agent) and the most thorough (guidelines, sales, agent by agent breakdowns, etc.). That’s why it’s been around for 21 years and that’s why it’s sold more than 275,000 copies. It works—and if you keep reading, I’ll prove it to you.

Buy it here! When you order it online from our WD shop, you get the same deep discount you find on Amazon. Need more reason to buy? How about some testimonials below from these very cool people.

THE GIVEAWAY: Comment on this post, and in one week’s time, I will pick three winners randomly to win a copy of the book! It’s that easy. (Update: Karen, Tammy and Anna won.)








1. Marisha Chamberlain, The Rose Variations (Soho):

“Guide to Literary Agents oriented me, the lowly first-time novelist, embarking on an agent
search. The articles and the listings gave insight into the world of literary agents that allowed me to comport myself professionally and to persist. And I did find a terrific agent.”

2. Eugenia Kim, The Calligrapher’s Daughter (Holt)

“After so many years working on the novel, the relative speed of creating the query package prodded the impetus to send it out. As a fail-safe measure, I bought the Guide to Literary Agents and checked who might be a good fit for my novel…”

3. Eve Brown-Waite, First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria (Broadway)

“I bought the Guide To Literary Agents … and came across Laney Katz Becker. So I sent off a very funny query. On March 15, 2007, Laney called. ‘I love your book,’ she said. ‘I’d like to represent you.’ Three and a half months (and several proposal revisions) later, Laney sold my book—at auction—in a six-figure deal.”




4. Mara Purnhagen, Tagged (Harlequin Teen)

“I trusted the Guide to Literary Agents to provide solid, up-to-date information to help me with the process. I now have a wonderful agent and a four-book deal.”

5. Richard Harvell, The Bells (Crown)

Guide to Literary Agents contains a wealth of information and good advice, and was crucial in my successful search for an agent. I found a great agent and my book has now sold in 11 territories and counting.”

6. Patrick Lee, The Breach (Harper)

“The Guide to Literary Agents has all the info you need for narrowing down a list of agencies to query.”


7. Karen Dionne, Freezing Point and Boiling Point (Jove)

“I’m smiling as I type this, because I actually got my agent via the Guide to Literary Agents. I certainly never dreamed that I’d tell my [success] story in the same publication!”

8. Heather Newton, Under the Mercy Trees (Harper Paperbacks)

“I’d definitely be interested in guest posting—especially since I found my literary agent through the Guide to Literary Agents!”

9. Michael Wiley, The Last Striptease and The Bad Kitty Lounge (Minotaur)

“The Guide to Literary Agents was very useful to me when I was getting started. I always recommend GLA to writers.”



10. Les Edgerton, Hooked and 9 more books

“Just signed with literary agent Chip MacGregor and I came upon him through the Guide to Literary Agents. If not for GLA, I’d probably still be looking.”

11. Jennifer Cervantes, Tortilla Sun (Chronicle)

“Within 10 days of initial submission, I found an energetic and amazing agent—and it’s all thanks to GLA.”

12. Carson Morton, Stealing Mona Lisa (St. Martin’s / Minotaur)

“I wanted to thank you for the Guide to Literary Agents. After contacting 16 literary agencies, number 17 requested the full manuscript of my historical novel. Within a few weeks, they offered to represent me. Hard work, perseverance, and good, solid, accurate information makes all the difference. Thanks again.”


13. Darien Gee, author of Friendship Bread: A Novel (April 2011; Ballantine Books)

“The Guide to Literary Agents was an indispensable tool for me when I was querying agents. I highly recommend it for any aspiring author—in addition to a comprehensive listing of literary agents, it contains valuable information about the query and submission process.”

14. Stephanie Barden, author of Cinderella Smith (April 2011; HarperCollins)

“When I felt my middle grade chapter book was finally ready for eyes other than mine to see it, I got some terrific advice: Go buy the Guide to Literary Agents. By the time I was through with it, it looked like it had gone to battle – it was battered and dog eared and highlighted and Post-It Noted. But it was victorious; I had an agent. Huge thanks, GLA – I couldn’t have done it without you!”

15. Lexi George, author of Demon Hunting in Dixie (April 2011; Brava)

“I positively haunted GLA on the road to publication. The Guide to Literary Agents is an invaluable resource for writers, whether you’re published or unpublished.”




16. Bill Peschel, author of Writers Gone Wild: The Feuds, Frolics, and Follies of Literature’s Great Adventurers, Drunkards, Lovers, Iconoclasts, and Misanthropes (Perigee)

“The Guide to Literary Agents gave me everything I needed to sell Writers Gone Wild. It was the personal assistant who found me the right agents to pitch, the publicist who suggested conferences to attend, and the trusted adviser who helped me negotiate the path to publication.”

17. Laura Griffin, author of Unforgivable and eight other romantic suspense novels.

“Writing the book is only the first step. Then it’s time to find a home for it. The Guide to Literary Agents is filled with practical advice about how to contact literary agents who can help you market your work.”

18. Derek Taylor Kent (a.k.a. Derek the Ghost), author of Scary School

“The Guide to Literary Agents was absolutely instrumental to my getting an agent and subsequent three-book deal with HarperCollins.”





19. Tamora Pierce, best-selling author of dozens of novels for teens

“The best guide to literary agents is the Guide to Literary Agents, published by Writer’s Market Books … These listings will tell you the names and addresses of the agencies; if an agency is made up of more than one agent, they will list the different agents and what kinds of book they represent; they will include whether or not the agent will accept simultaneous submissions (submitting a manuscript to more agent than one).”

20. Wade Rouse, author of many books, including It’s All Relative: Two Families, Three Dogs, 34 Holidays, and 50 Boxes of Wine (A Memoir)

“And when you think you’re done writing your book? Write some more. And when you think you’re finished? Set it aside for a while, go back, redraft, edit, rewrite and redraft … Then pick up the Writer’s Digest Guide to Literary Agents.”

21. Brent Hartinger, author of several novels, including Geography Club

“Get an agent. Having a reputable agent means you will be taken much more seriously by busy editors who are eager to find any reason to reject your book (and if you’re agented, editors will offer you more money, more than canceling out the cost of the agent’s commission!). There are hundreds of good agents out there, with all kinds of different tastes (check The Guide to Literary Agents for a complete list).”


22. Jessica Brody, author of several novels (women’s fiction, YA), including The Karma Club

“To put it in perspective: It took me two years to finally find an agent to represent The Fidelity Files [my first novel] and once I did, she sold the manuscript in 10 days. That’s the difference an agent makes. I would recommend purchasing a membership for an online agent directory like WritersMarket.com. You can also use an agent directory in book form like the Guide to Literary Agents.”











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112 thoughts on “The 2012 Guide to Literary Agents Is Out! That Means Giveaways and 22 Reasons to Buy It.

  1. kiserkk@hotmail.com

    I am taking several online creative writing courses through my local community college. I am starting to work on a few items to submit for publication. I have the 2011 Writer’s Market, but this book sounds like it would be a great addition for a writer’s collection. It lists almost every literary agent and is the most thorough? It can’t get any better than that! I lost my job eight months ago, so I am really trying to concentrate on my writing, since I haven’t been able to find other employment yet (it’s still tough out there!). I’m sorry I’m rambling on, but sometimes I just can’t stop writing.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my comment–

  2. ckj

    It sounds like a book no writer can live without! I have frequently seen the book at bookstores and on Amazon, but have not invested in it. I think buying such a phenomenal resource is a MUST!

  3. David Clark

    There are many times in everyone’s day when electronics cough and wheeze. No internet signal, no laptop convenience, batteries are dead in the voice recorder, that stuff is a pack of unreliable friends. For research, for educational purposes, for convenience, never forget the worth of a pocket notepad and pen, and a book like this that powers on and opens up anywhere you want to any page you want with cheetah speed.

  4. Beth Mac

    I’m too late to enter the contest, but I will say that I buy this resource every year and read it and write in it and love it. It’s the best. (Also love Les Edgerton’s ‘Hooked,’ which I’m currently studying. Writers will save themselves years of trial and error if they get his book.)

    1. Beth Mac

      Oops! Wrong market book. It’s the Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market (also by Writer’s Digest) that I buy every year. It does have a section on agents, though. : ) But they’re all spectacular.

      1. TheScribbler

        I am not commenting just to get the book because I am too poor to afford one, I just like writing comments on message boards. I actually really enjoy writing ‘first’ in the comments section as well leaving really confrontational messages I know will garner a response, and when I have time I like to write a brief paragraph advertising a dating or shopping site. My work here is done. (Please give me the book now)

  5. lisamaloney

    I’ve just recently tipped to the fact that I really do need an agent. If I’m lucky enough to win a free copy of your book, I promise it’ll be put to good use right away :-)

  6. joekur

    I’m pleased to comment in for a chance to win! I owned, and enthusiastically used, copies of the GLA back in the early ’90s, some of the first years this terrific guide was available. Now, 20 years later, with a newly rewritten novel manuscript nearly complete, I’m ready to turn to the Guide to Literary Agents again. May it not be another 20 years for the next book!

  7. writevoice

    Just wanted to say ‘Thanks’ for all the support you’ve given writers over the years. I’ve followed you guys for a long time and have learned an awful lot. I am looking for any and all resources that will help me as I plough through my first novel. Ready for an agent? Maybe, maybe not but would be a great addition to my growing library. :)

  8. Riverlyn

    I am very interested in receiving a copy of this invaluable resource, the 2012 GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS, as a reference book for nonfiction book proposals. Thank you for the post.

  9. Ann Kimbers

    I know that I will have this book one way or another. I have bought the previous books and am hoping to win 2012! So excited for the new edition and to USE IT!

  10. johnanthonyhart

    This guide is an excellent place to begin your search for an agent. I wouldn’t use it as the final source of information because an agencies needs might have changed prior to publication. Use it to narrow down the field, then go to the agency web site (if they have one — not all do. Shame on them!) to see if the information in the guide has changed. It does save you a lot of time in pinpointing which agents you should explore further. Besides, I like free stuff, especially on my tight budget.

  11. Shelley

    I am stunned – shocked, I tell you – that to date no one has mentioned how positively glowing, nay, fetching you look in your photo. Just by image alone, your honed and wizened intelligence shines, your honesty, glad-hearted compassion, manly prowess and Ghandi-esque generosity shouts out with a clarity not to be rivaled. Even your choice of classic black garb (Dolce and Gabanna, perhaps?) tells the story of a man who, no matter who may cry foul, makes decisions, judgements, announcements about contest winners with integrity and savvy, not to be swayed by the likes of those coldhearted souls who would use flattery as a means to an end.

  12. moyrid

    Over the last few years your advise and posts have helped my writing so much. It has turned my withering manuscript into something truly worth reading. I have passed you nuggets of wisdom onto to other writing friends. The 2012 guide to literary agents would be the final stepping stone to help me get this book published.

  13. Tabitha

    You must be a mind reader. How did you know I needed this? Looking forward to finding an agent in the coming year. Hopefully he/she is in there somewhere. Even if you don’t pick my name at random, I’ll but a copy. Thanks for the heads up and Happy Reading everyone!! :)

  14. right2write

    Hey Chuck,

    I doubt that the guide itself will take me to publication, but I am willing to do my part in the hope that it would take me in the direction of an open door . . . if I get to have the GLA in my hands.

  15. Stormfields2

    Although you can get published without an agent, why? With the new 2012 edition of Guide to Literary Agents, you will spend less time locating and approaching an agent to do your marketing, leaving more time for you to do the actual writing!

  16. Machava

    Met you in Branson, MO 5 years ago when I didn’t have a clue about publishing or agents and happened to ask you why I needed an agent. Found it quite ironic when you turned out to be the Key Note Speaker. Thanks for your great insight! While I have had some small accomplishments, it’s taken me all this time to complete my original reason for investigating the process and could use the resource. Thanks again!

  17. author40

    Guide to Literary Agents is THE go-to resource for advancing your writing career. I love the fact that it tells you who’s new and who’s been around, who wants what and how they want it, what’s been sold and how many. It’s the career-minded writer’s best friend!

  18. justme143

    If this is the key to unlock the door of thoughts that randomly strike loose papers, then I need to have this book to inspire and define a moment that could bring out the stories that lie deep within my head fighting to come out.

  19. Wade Webster

    OK I have a children’ picture book, a middle grade book and an adult fiction book ready for the big time. Sounds like I need this guide to take me to this next vital step of the business side of this crazy life.
    Thanks for making this resource available for us beginners.

  20. linvo

    This will be such an asset to have in my hands as a newbie writer. Thanks, Chuck, for all the superb information I’ve gleaned from your posts over the last year. You’ve truly motivated me to enter the world of authorship. Getting my first novel published, here I come!

  21. Cheryl Bush

    As far as guest posts go, Bill Peschel’s was perhaps the most informative. He laid out a basic plan to publication. I think it’s really sweet that all those novelists wrote in to let others know how helpful they had found the Guide to be…and how they used the guides to help themselves.

    Thanks for reading!

  22. Pudd-n-tain

    As a cave dweller, scribbling on deer hides and eating dried berries, the 2012, ‘Guide to Literary Agents’ is my cabin in the making. All those agent contacts and publishers! GLA is how-to heaven!
    Have mercy, Chuck Sambuchino! It’s so cold here in the sticks.

  23. NancyCL

    This book would definitely be an asset to any author looking for an agent. It would save a lot of time and research and be a very handy guide. I hate to tell you how many hours I’ve spent doing online research for just the right agent. I know this would help me a LOT!!!

  24. Wendy

    I bought the book before I was ready to find an agent. It was worth it for the articles alone. Though now I’m ready to start the agent query process and sure could use the 2012 edition!

  25. writermom116

    Although I love this blog, I’m a reader (translate as “lurker”) not a poster. It just took me 15 minutes to unearth my login info. But it was time well-spent if I actually win this book! Reward me for my efforts, please! (smiles winsomely) If not, I”ll just have to go and spend my pititful pile of pennies on this compendium of knowledge.

  26. Naomi

    An essential book, testimonials, and a drawing. I’m there! Good thing there are not any chocolate chip cookies, otherwise I might never leave this page.

  27. lcart

    I’ve been waiting for this new edition to come out! Have been reading your blogs for months and taking notes, as my first memoir and first novel are both almost done. Thanks for the good info you provide.

  28. LeeMandel

    I can’t wait to get my copy. There are so many things to learn about different agents by reading their listings in this “bible” of sorts. Of course, I would hope that you pick me to receive a copy gratis, but if not I will be visiting my local Barnes & Nobles…


  29. Goat Granny

    I’m eager! I’m anxious! I’ve just written word eighty-thousand-three.
    Testimonials for GLA shout ‘Buy’! Or – get it for free?
    Follow rules for submissions – write a query (quer – ee’)
    Find the right agent for my book. FORGET PO-ET-RY!

  30. ambrialee

    I guess having a copy of the new 2012 edition of Guide to Literary Agents is better than having your picture on the Wheaties cereal box….I would love to have a copy. This has to be the coolest and the most sought after book to a writer. This book is the Bible of a writer! Can’t wait to see it in my hands either free or bought.

  31. ShannonYoungHK

    I am currently living in Hong Kong. I hope I am still eligible to win a copy of the 2012 GLA. I plan to begin querying my Hong Kong travel memoir by Chinese New Year and the guide would be very helpful. Thank you!

  32. AK Mills

    I have used my earlier edition of GTLA numerous times over the past couple of years. In fact, I never travel far without it. It is encouraging to see other authors’ successes as I am new to the literary world and look forward to one day having a success story of my own.

  33. Bennett

    Hey, Choose me Chuck. I’m the best, the brightest, and the biggest fan… And that’s not an electric fan.

    And many thanks for your wonderful blogs: they are inspiring, insightful, helpful, fun…

    Take care,
    Patricia Bennett

  34. Sponky

    Dear Chuck,

    Please send me a copy of the 2012 Agents Guide, as my 2011 copy is now in ruins after it saved the life of my neighbor. Last night her toilet blew up and gallons of water forced her outside her apartment to wait for the firetruck. I waded through the water, and I happened to be holding and reading the 2011 version of the Agents book. I began wondering which agent might cover home remedy dramadies, and when I saw that the book would fit in the broken pipe hole I shoved it in. You know the hole beneath the toilet, the one where even a rabbit would fear to paddle-tread? Well, these books not only save our butts from wildly searching the web for this agent or that one, but they also save ourselves from drowning. Needless to say, the firemen showed up an hour later and told us the book saved the floorboards. My neighbor also promised to turn down her TV at night if I am writing or querying agents. Believe this or not, I still need a new copy of the agents guide, and it might as well be the 2012 version…. Sponky

  35. Adelia guilliot

    Looks like there’s a few more books on my list to read. I would love to win a copy of “GLA for 2012″. It would be a birthday/Christmas gift to myself…Thank you for the opportunity!:)

    God bless!

  36. SixString_Chris

    Just a comment about the latest “GLA News E-letter”…. I received it TODAY, 10/5/11, at 12:56 PM (Eastern). I was interested in the “worst log line ever” contest, so I read the rules…. >.<

    "2. The contest will go until the end of the day, 11:59 p.m., PST, Tues, Oct. 3, 2011. Submissions received after that will not be considered."


  37. Rufina

    I’ve been writing my book now for a while, Bryan Cohen has been giving me a lot of encouragement through his website since I bought his book “1001 Creative Writing Prompts”. I use those on days that I find it hard to get started with my writing or just when I want to do some “free writing”. I book like this guide would help me with my work as I would have somewhere to begin looking for an agent.

  38. heidilab

    My copy from last year is dog-eared, highlighted and sticky-noted (okay, I know they’re not really words). I’d love the 2012 copy! (If I don’t win one, I’ll buy my own, but it would be a nice treat.)
    Great job! Lots of wonderful information packed inside. Thanks for the contest!

  39. shakabry

    A promise:

    Declare me a winner of the 2012 Guide To Literary Agents and I will read its juicy tidbits and absorb its pearly nuggets of wisdom and make them mine own. I will thence go forth and use the accrued knowledge to contact, obtain, and in effect, benefit from a literary agent who decidedly “gets” my work. When dreams come true and my fiction is well received, I will come back here and comment on a future edition of WD’s Guide To Literary Agents, expounding on the greatness that surely lies within its pages while all the while enjoying a shared giggle with my past self as I reflect on this very comment, made here today.

    Or I could just buy the damn thing.

  40. KC

    I would LOVE to get this book because I am currently in the process of weeding through literary agents via sites like Agent Query and Publisher’s Marketplace. This would be most helpful for me!!!

  41. KyleS

    Looks like I’m the first to comment! Hey Chuck, glad to see the 2012 edition is out. I’m a long time reader of your blog, but only just registered in hopes that I win a copy! – Kyle