If you aspire to write a fiction book and get published the traditional way, you’ll need to know what to do before you query an agent. Today’s tip comes from Get an Agent, a digital resource meant for any writer who desires to learn more about literary agents and publishing. Here are 10 tips on preparing your fiction book, novel, or short story for submission:
1. Finish your novel or short-story collection. An agent can do nothing for fiction without a finished product.
2. Revise your manuscript. Seek critiques from other writers to ensure your work is as polished as possible.
3. Proofread. Don’t ruin a potential relationship with an agent by submitting work that contains typos or poor grammar.
4. Publish short stories or novel excerpts in literary journals, which will prove to prospective agents that editors see quality in your writing.
5. Research to find the agents or writers whose works you admire or are similar to yours.
6. Use the Internet and resources like Guide to Literary Agents to construct a list of agents who are open to new writers and looking for your category of fiction.
7. Rank your list according to the agents most suitable for you and your work.
8. Write your novel synopsis.
9. Write your query letter. As an agent’s first impression of you, this brief letter should be polished and to the point.
10. Educate yourself about the business of agents so you will be prepared to act on any offer.