27 Reasons to Read Guide to Literary Agents 2018 (Plus a Giveaway!)

Today is the official pub date of the Guide to Literary Agents 2018, though you may have found that it’s been available earlier in bookstores and on Amazon. (And if you were at the Writer’s Digest Conference, you know we had early copies available of it for purchase!) Nonetheless, today is the official official launch date of the book.

The new edition is updated and packed with brand new info. While there are plenty of places you can turn to for information on agents, the Guide to Literary Agents has always prided itself as being the biggest print edition and the most thorough (guidelines, sales, agent by agent breakdowns, etc.). It’s the Yellow Pages of agents, with interviews, query examples, and profiles of new agents seeking clients right now. That’s why it’s in its 27th edition. In honor of this edition, here’s 27 reasons why you should pick up your copy of GLA—or enter the competition below to win a free one!

The biggest literary agent database anywhere
is the Guide to Literary Agents. Pick up the
most recent updated edition online at a discount.

A GIVEAWAY: Send me an email at cris.freese@fwmedia.com, with the subject line “What I Love About GLA” and tell me the thing you enjoy the most about the Guide to Literary Agents blog and/or the print edition of Guide to Literary Agents. In three weeks (deadline October 4, 2017), I’ll pick 3 random winners to win a copy of the book! And if you optionally tweet news of this giveaway and the publication date of GLA, I’ll give you 2 entries into the contest instead of just the one. Just tweet the following, then email me with your Twitter handle: Giveaway: @WritersDigest is giving away 3 copies of the new 2018 Guide to Literary Agents – http://bit.ly/2h4pEGh via @crisfreese. [NOTE: THIS CONTEST IS NO LONGER ACTIVE. The winners are Penelope Cole, Teresa Conboy, and Jenny Garden.]

1. The Same Great Content. Hundreds of updated listings for literary agents, plus informative articles to help you grow as a writer. It’s the same Guide to Literary Agents that you’ve come to expect over the years, just with a new editor.

2. New Agent Spotlights. There are 25 New Agent Spotlights in the book, intermixed with the hundreds of literary agency listings. These listings feature new agents from the past year, with a brief bio, what they’re seeking, and how to submit a query. I’ve also included their Twitter handle so you can get a feel for some of these agents’ personalities, and if they might be a good fit for your query.

3. The Writer’s Toolbox. This is a brand new section I’ve added, where I’ve attempted to arm readers with the tools they need to get an agent. This year, that includes articles about writing a great first page, using hashtags to get an agent, critique groups, conferences, and more.

4. The Online Companion. The Guide to Literary Agents blog is a great resource, as you well know, if you’re reading this right now. But, with thousands of articles, it can be difficult to navigate and find what you really need. I’ll be trying to do the hard work for you by compiling the best-of-the-best into a landing page, which you’ll find a link for in the newest edition!

5. Authors Breaking Out in Your Genre. Looking for inspiration? This year’s edition features 19 writers who broke out and got an agent, making their way to traditional publication. This includes writers of picture books, women’s fiction, science fiction, memoir, literary fiction, mystery, romance, and more.

Missed any of the recent Agent Spotlights? Here are the four most recent updates!

6. More Debut Authors! Those authors that are featured in the debut authors feature? Sophie Chen Keller, Danya Kukafka, Jessica Strawser, Ellie Terry, Angie Thomas, Weike Wang, Lauren Fern Watt, and more. Oh, did I mention Angie Thomas? Like, New York Times best-selling author of The Hate U Give? She shares her story, and it’s awesome. She found her agent through Twitter, after all!

7. An Exclusive Webinar. We did something really cool this year for the free webinar that’s included with the purchase of the book—you get two agents talking getting an agent! That’s right, Danielle Burby and Joanna MacKenzie of Nelson Literary Agency worked together to create an awesome, exclusive presentation. And, when you’re done listening to them, you can find their Agent Spotlights in the book and query them!

8. Trackers for Your Querying. Writer’s Digest Managing Editor Tyler Moss put together some awesome query trackers: one for querying agents and one for tracking your agent’s submissions to publishers. Both are extremely helpful for anyone looking to break out, and needing to keep track of their work. There’s also a pair of freelancer trackers, too, for those who work on the side. They’re all downloadable for free with the book!

9. Sample Query Letters! I know, I know. No one likes writing a query letter. But, it’s a necessity if you’re going to get traditionally published. There’s five samples in this book, including Garth Stein’s query for The Art of Racing in the Rain. I’ll be adding more sample queries on the online landing page, too.

10. Attention, Genre Writers! Here’s another new feature of GLA, which I’ll switch up ever year: A breakout article that’s specific to a certain genre. This year’s featured genre is science fiction and fantasy, and it’s a roundtable discussion with four literary agents who specifically represent these genres. Want to know what Lucienne Diver, Russell Galen, Mark Gottlieb, and Eddie Schneider think about world-building and its importance? It’s all here, in the new edition.

11. The Voices of Agents. That’s not the only article where you’ll hear from agents. The articles, “The Anatomy of a First Page” and “Look Before You Leap,” were also written by literary reps—Paula Munier, and Andrea Hurst and Sean Fletcher, respectively. It’s imperative that writers hear from (and get to know!) literary agents as much as possible.

12. Steven Bohls, author of Jed and the Junkyard Dog (Disney-Hyperion): “For me, the path to getting published felt initially like navigating an ever-changing labyrinth shrouded in darkness. But when I first picked up a copy of the Guide to Literary Agents, I felt as though I had both the map and flashlight I’d been looking for. Anyone searching for direction should make the Guide to Literary Agents their first stop.”

13. Andria Williams, author of The Longest Night: A Novel (Random House): “ I was writing a novel on my own path with no literary-world connections. I went to the bookstore and got Guide to Literary Agents. I wrote a query letter and found my agent, and she got my book published for me. It felt like a fairy tale. I owe it in large part to GLA.”

14. Jeri Westerson, author of the Crispin Guest series (Severn House Publishers): “The whole writing industry is so confusing. Where to begin? I started with the Guide to Literary Agents, where I not only created my list of agents but received all sorts of excellent information in crafting my winning query letter. I recommend it to anyone starting out.”

15. Renée Andieh, author of The Wrath and the Dawn (Penguin/Putnam): “The first book I ever bought when I began my publishing journey was Guide to Literary Agents. And it’s one of the first things I recommend to any aspiring writer.”

16. Jessica Lidh, author of The Number 7 (Merit Press): “I found my literary agent in Guide to Literary Agents. The GLA was one of the best writing investments I ever made.”

17. Gennifer Albin, author of Crewel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux): “I got a lot of mileage out of Guide to Literary Agents when I was looking for an agent, and I frequently recommend it.”

18. Kate Maddison, author of The Incredible Charlotte Sycamore (Holiday House): “Guide to Literary Agents was the very first book I bought on the business of writing several years ago. I remember the bookstore, the time of day, and what the young cashier looked like who sold it to me, because she struck up a conversation, as she, too, hoped to get published one day. I read GLA from cover to cover!”

19. Carole Brody Fleet, author of Happily Even After (Viva Books): “I am not overstating it when I say that Guide to Literary Agents was absolutely instrumental in landing me an agent.”

20. Darien Gee, author of Friendship Bread: A Novel (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.”

21. Les Edgerton, author of Hooked (Writer’s Digest Books): “I 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.”

22. Richard Harvell, author of The Bells (Crown): “The Guide to Literary Agents contains a wealth of information and good advice, and was crucial to my successful search for an agent. I found a great agent and my book has sold in 11 territories and counting.”

23. Michael Wiley, author of The Bad Kitty Lounge and The Last Striptease (Minotaur Books): “The Guide to Literary Agents was very useful to me when I was getting started. I always recommend GLA to writers.”

24. Deborah Wolf, author of The Dragon’s Legacy (Titan Books): “I have been an avid reader of Writer’s Digest for as long as I can remember, and an aspiring author even longer than that. I found my agent (Mark Gottlieb of Trident Media) through a Guide to Literary Agents new agent spotlight.”

25. Anise Eden, author of All the Broken Places (Diversion Books): “The Guide to Literary Agents blog has been a wonderful resource for me over the years.”

26. Emily France, author of Signs of You (Soho Teen): “It was the Guide to Literary Agents that I studied like a textbook and that ultimately helped me land my agent.”

27. Lee Kelly, author of City of Savages (Saga Press): “ The Guide to Literary Agents has been on my nightstand for years and I swear by it. GLA is an invaluable guide to navigating the publishing world. I used it on my road to finding my agent, and would recommend it to any writer at the beginning of her own journey.”

If you’re an agent looking to update your information or an author interested in contributing to the GLA blog or the next edition of the book, contact Writer’s Digest Books Managing Editor Cris Freese at cris.freese@fwmedia.com.


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