Many times, I hear unpublished writers lament about how hard it is to find an agent to represent them. Here’s a few tips to land an agent.
Write the best manuscript you can manage. Agents get tons of work come across their desk, but they only have a few slots for clients. If you write well and have a compelling story, you will go to the top of their slush pile. You may not believe it, but your competition is not that strong. Most writers aren’t ready for publication even though they think they are. To become a better writer, read novels in your genre, study writing books and blogs, get critiques, and keep writing and revising.
Submit to the right agent. No matter what some writing gurus may tell you, submitting to every agent in the Writer’s Market whether they represent your genre or not is annoying and will brand you as an amateur. Agent websites are great places to do your research. Don’t just read what the agent wants in the guidelines. find out what type of authors he or she represents.
Be careful to submit to legitimate agents. If any agent wants you to pay for an edit, office supplies, or representation, run for the hills. Good agents make their money from a percentage of the sales, not from a fee charged to the author. Another place to check out agents is Predators and Editors Website.
Follow the agent’s guidelines for submissions to the letter. Agents could so many submissions that they usually don’t even read those that couldn’t bother to follow their guidelines.
Conferences are a great place to connect with agents. Even if you don’t find an agent there, you’ll make contacts that might help you later. And you’ll take classes to help you become a better writer.
If an agent says no, keep trying. You may need to tweak you work, or the chemistry or timing might not be right. Remember, the people who find agents and end up getting published are not always the best writers. They’re usually the ones that didn’t give up.