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Posts Tagged ‘literary agency’

How To Land A Literary Agent: Don’t Bury Your Sales Hook

LiteraryAgentSo the hardest part’s over. You’ve written a book. Congrats! Now, on to a new challenge — selling it. You’ve heard all the self-published success stories, but eBooks and print-on-demand tomes aren’t your thing. You want your writing to be traditionally published. If that’s the case, the first thing you’ll need is a literary agent.

In the latest Mediabistro feature, literary agents give tips for aspiring authors who want to go the traditional publishing route. One thing to remember? Agents and publishers are in the book-selling business, so don’t bury your sales hook:

“As I’m reading [a submission], I’m paying attention to my gut response: Are readers going to enjoy this and want to keep turning the page?” says Rachelle Gardner, an agent with Books & Such Literary Agency. “Then the other side of it is, regardless of my gut response, can I sell this? And could a publisher sell this to readers? And if so, how?” Gardner recommends writers clearly communicate the sales hook in their initial submission. As in, don’t expect the agent to automatically assume that your cozy mystery featuring a stay-at-home mom turned amateur sleuth will be targeted to unfulfilled women in middle America.

To hear more tips on how to get yourself an agent (and a book deal), read: 6 Tips To Land A Literary Agent.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

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Should You Re-Query?

In a recent blog post, author Allison Winn Scotch tackled one of the toughest questions facing aspiring writers: should you ever re-query after an agent?

Here’s an excerpt from her blog post: “if in your heart of hearts, you think that Agent X will fall in love with it and may have overlooked it in her slush pile, I suppose it doesn’t hurt to retry. (But I would do so with very few agents.) As for those you never heard back from? Well, I’d just query them as if it’s your first time. They may not have really read your query very closely, and I doubt that it will be remembered such that they’ll find you annoying or pushy.”

Scotch (pictured, via) also suggested that authors don’t attempt to re-query an agent if the first was sent less than six months before–because revisions require a lot of time and effort. What do the agents in the audience think?