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How To Find A Literary Agent — Or How They Find You

By Dee Power

How to find a literary agent is the first lesson new authors must learn. Is is hopeless? Do you have to be published to find a literary agent? Fortunately the answer is no.

We asked over 60 successful literary agents:

Where Do Agents Find Clients?

Referral from one of their other clients 39%

Direct contact by the writer 33%

Referral from editors and publishers 9%

Referral from other authors not their clients 8%

Referrals from other agents 5%

Attendance at writers’ conferences 3%

Other 3%

It comes as no surprise that referrals from their current clients were the top method cited. Publishing is a relationship based industry. Contacts are extremely important. A recommendation from someone whose opinion an agent trusts always is valued and receives prompt attention. Several careers of top selling authors were launched when another bestselling author took them under their wing and introduced them to agents or publishers.

What might be surprising is that as many as one-third of the agents said direct contact from the writer was the most common way they found new clients. There is most definitely hope for the budding authors out there, sweating over the last draft of that perfect query letter to send out to agents.

Attending writer’s conference is often recommended as a way to get some face time with a literary agent and make some contacts in the publishing world. The survey shows that only 3% of agents overall find a new client as a result of a writer’s conference. But, and it’s a big but, the agents that attend are there for that very purpose. Don’t wait for the pitch sessions, talk to the agents during the break sessions and informal networking.

You can find literary agents interested in your book. Polish your query letter and pitch to those agents who represent the type of books you write.

About the Author: Want to find out how you can avoid scams and still get your book published? You can receive a free report Perils and Pitfalls of Publishing for Writers just visit Free Report


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