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How to Find an Agent

How To Find an Agent for Your YA Book

GalleyCat caught up with young-adult novelist Cara Chow (pictured, via) to talk about her book, Bitter Melon.  Here are some highlights from our interview.

Q: How did you find your agent?
A: Back in June 2008, I found Stephen [Barbara] on a website called My keyword searches were ‘Young Adult’ and ‘multicultural,’ and his name was one of over 200 that showed up on the list. The description of what he was interested in seemed to match what I had, so I sent him a query.

After reading my manuscript, Stephen wrote me a very nice letter telling me what he liked about my manuscript. He then went on to explain what was missing and asked if I would be interested in revising and resending it. I called him to get a better idea of what he had in mind. During our phone conversation, I felt strongly that he was ‘The One’ (I mean that in a professional way, of course). I felt a deep sense of trust in him and decided that he was worth another draft.

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Find an Agent for Your YA Novel

Ally Condie (pictured, via) published several books before she came out with her recent New York Times bestseller, Matched.

We caught up with the author to find out how she landed an agent for her young adult manuscript–straight from the slush pile. We also found out what it takes to write dystopian fiction for a YA audience. Highlights from the interview follow below.

Q: How did you find your agent?
A: I sent out queries to agents who represented young adult fiction. I found their names online at and then researched them at Publishers’ Marketplace and online to make sure they would be a good fit (i.e., I wasn’t sending young adult fiction to those who didn’t represent it!). A friend clued me in to all of these websites—things had changed a bit since I originally queried my first book in 2004!

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How to Pitch Evatopia Literary Management

Looking for a place to pitch your YA novel? A new Mediabistro article will help you pitch a YA-focused agency.

GalleyCat contributor Jeff Rivera wrote a Mediabistro article about how to pitch Evatopia Literary Management, a literary agency focused on YA and middle grade fiction. According to the article, the agency prefers to receive submissions directly through its website. Follow this link to  submit your manuscript.

Here’s more from the article: “If you are a writer of YA or middle grade, you may have hit a sweet spot with this manager who is always on the lookout for material that appeals to young people and easily lends itself to film and television. Not only are the genres seemingly immune to the current down economy, but film rights to YA and middle grade projects are hot, hot, hot. Walshaw recently secured the television adaptation of client Kevin Emerson’s Oliver Nocturne series with Will Smith’s Overbrook Productions, is developing Jessica Brody’s The Fidelity Files, and is also looking to produce Gordon Korman’s On the Run.”

Lit Agent Felicia Eth Wants Writers With ‘Real Marketing Savvy’

Brain Mechanic book coverOutgoing? Smart? Talented? You could be the perfect match for veteran literary agent Felicia Eth, the woman behind Spencer Lord‘s The Brain Mechanic. In’s Pitching an Agent series, we spoke with Eth about what she looks for in authors, the genres she’s most interested in, and what an aspiring client should never, ever write in a query letter.

One takeaway: “The client from hell is someone who is obsessive and doesn’t trust me to do my job; someone who just doesn’t take my word or listen to me.”

Read the full article here.

Book Pitch Advice from the Consulting Editors Alliance

For all the aspiring authors in the audience, a book proposal can be a powerful tool. It will shape your agent query, your elevator pitch, your jacket copy, and ultimately, your sales pitch.

Last weekend, GalleyCat prowled the floor of the Self-Publishing Book Expo. Along with 450 attendees from all corners of the country, we picked up some book pitching tips to help readers prepare for our ongoing Book Pitch contest–a chance to win a free ticket to the eBook Summit.

At the Expo, we found some helpful tips for crafting a great proposal from the Consulting Editors Alliance. If you have more book pitch advice, share it in the comments section for a future post.

The Alliance outlined the ideal pitch: “Your cover letter should provide an overview of the book and be no longer than one page. Don’t try to be clever (unless your book is humor). If the book is nonfiction, describe, briefly, what else is out there and how your work differs.”

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I Just Wrote A Book…What Do I Do Now?

I Just Wrote A Book…What Do I Do Now? It’s a question most of the writers in the audience have asked.

The On Demand team enlisted the support of this GalleyCat editor, an agent, and others to help aspiring writers figure out what to do next with a manuscript. The practical how-to video includes sections on the editing process, finding an agent, and social networking, and promotion.

Follow this link to watch the whole series–viewing is free for a limited time.

Lit Agent Laura Rennert Wants “Smart Boy Books”

If you write for young readers, listen up: senior literary agent Laura Rennert is on the prowl for smart boy books and in our interview with her today she tells us a few examples of well-written middle grade and YA books you should model; how she was able to close a film deal for one of her authors; and what it took to get her authors on the New York Times list.

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Lit Agent Lorella Belli Tells Writers: “Keep an Eye on the Bestsellers List”

U.K.-based literary agent, Lorella Belli shared some insight into how the U.S. market and the European market differs. In our interview with her today, she tells us the importance of writers taking the reins in promoting their own work, why you as a writer should keep an eye out for what’s on the bestseller’s list, and why you should consider a U.K.-based agent if you’re not finding luck in the United States.

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Lit Agent, Meredith Bernstein: “Give Me Characters I Want to Inhale”

Meredith Bernstein is passionate about her job as a literary agent. She uses that passion to motivate her clients even in the current publishing environment. In our interview with her today, she discusses what it truly means to be prepared as a writer, why editors are still banging on her door for women’s fiction and her connection to Anne Frank.

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Lit Agent, Jean V. Naggar Tells Writers to: “Revise, Revise, Revise!”

agentlogo.jpgVeteran literary agent, Jean V. Naggar is no stranger to changes in the industry but she has not lost her joy for the business. In our interview with Naggar today, she tells us what she is currently looking for, her views on the Wild West new publishing era and the importance of listening to your agent now more than ever.

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