Eight Amazing Tips to Find Your Dream Literary Agent

Eight Amazing Tips to Find Your Dream Literary Agent

Literary Agent

Once you complete your manuscript, the next big question you will face is whether you need a literary agent or not. After all, there are authors out there who share their work with this world without seeking help from a literary agent.

Well, the quick answer is that you may not need a literary agent if you are writing for a regional magazine or trying to publish a literary journal. However, if you are trying to enter the competitive playground for writers through your upcoming book, a great publisher must be by your side.

Here are some of the best tips you need to find your dream agent right away.

Understand Your Genre

Before you start to panic about how to get a literary agent, you must have an understanding of what kind of agent can help you. The first thing to consider is your genre. This awareness can help you direct your efforts to the right agents only.

Yes, there are literary agents who welcome different genres, but most stick to just one. Hence, you must filter the information according to the genre of your book.

However, remember not to box yourself in. Your book may have a unique genre or could fall into multiple categories at once. It means that you can reach literary agents from a few different genres that your book may fall in.

 Look for an Open-Minded Option

Many novice writers are inclined toward working with a literary agent that specializes in their genre. They want to partner up with the best in the field to make their presence known in their field. However, looking for a specialist in your specific genre can narrow your options to an extent where finding a suitable literary agent may become a bigger challenge than ever.

You may be surprised to know that there are many agents out there who do not specialize. It is not specialization that makes your literary agent great. Instead, it is their willingness to try out new experiences and having an open mind.

Seek Mutual Passion

One thing that every author must keep in mind is that you do not want an agent who does not want you. Naturally, most writers want to work with agents who have a shiny track record of best sellers. However, authors often overlook how many people such agents may be dealing with.

With high demand and so much work at hand, these agents can be a nightmare to work with. Most authors agree that they have an unsatisfactory experience working with famous literary agents.

Instead of running behind the agents who will work with you with insignificant time to offer, you can try looking for an agent who is actually interested in your genre and book. Agents with an authentic interest in your work will give you attention and time.

Look for Common Grounds

Although finding common ground with your literary agent will not help you write a brilliant query letter, it may be helpful information for the next big step. You can make a connection with your literary agent to start a strong partnership.

For example, if your literary agent loves football and you love the sport too, you can make a connection with them. 

Even if you are not an avid football fan, a character in your book may be. If you see such coincidences for connection, you must not hold back from reaching out.

Keep to the Point

Ideally, a query letter should have between 250 and 300 words. Anything longer or shorter than that is not recommended to be sent to a literary agent. But, many authors wonder how to say it all in such a limited space for words.

The best approach to keep a query letter to the point is by avoiding the obvious. You do not have to tell the literary agent why you wrote your book, who was your inspiration, or when you are planning to write your next book.

Your query letter must be focused on your current work and why you want to work with the literary agent you have addressed. If you want to summarize your book, it must not take more than one line of your query letter to be used as a hook. A strong hook will ensure that your literary agent cannot resist asking you for your manuscript.

Shortlist the List

Once you start looking for literary agents, you will understand that there are so many potential matches. As you create a list, there will be so many names on it. Instead of sending a personalized query letter to all of these literary agents, you must shortlist this list to save your time and energy.

Your list must not have any more than 12-15 literary agents. You must recheck their websites to be sure that they are actively looking for new clients in your genre. Once all details are rechecked, you can start reaching out to them with your query letters.

Write a Brilliant Synopsis

Your query letter may not let you express what your book is about fully but you can feel much more comfortable while writing 500-1000 words of your synopsis. This part allows you to tell the story without worrying about any spoilers.

While writing your synopsis, make sure to bold the names of the main characters to create emphasis. Format this document properly to add to its readability. You can also include a brief USP before the synopsis to entice agents.

Prepare Your Manuscript

Do not make the beginner’s mistake of sending your manuscript before it’s ready. Remember that literary agents can be very picky. You need to give your best shot to ensure that they are drawn to work with you.

It is best to hire an editor to help you perfect your manuscript. They can help you check for common errors such as spelling mistakes, punctuation errors, typos, and much more.

Once you are confident about your work, send it out with confidence and hope for the best.