5 Essentials For Landing A Great Literary Agent

Are You Looking For A Literary Agent

By Lisa Brown

Once you are through with your manuscript the first problem to think about is how to get it to your publishers.

A high percentage of books published by New York houses are those sold by Literary Agents.

Though it may not be easy to score agent representation, it is possible.


In some instances, you may get multiple offers, and it leads to the stress of choosing the best one for you.

How do you know which one to pick, especially with limited time and money to spend?

To help you overcome this dilemma, we will outline to you the essentials of a good literary agent. It may seem simple, but in reality, it is a tight position to be in.


Essentials of A Good Literary Agent

In today’s market, it is rare for publishers to read work that has no representation. A good agent will use their connection and experience to match you with the ideal publishing house.

It is especially handy for first-time writers who may have no idea how to maneuver the literary world.

The tips below will help you land your dream Literary Agent:


1. Know what you want in a literary agent

It is an essential part of finding an agent whose strategy aligns with your goals and desires. Many writers only consider an agent who will sell their book. That’s not enough.

Remember if you want to make a career as an author you’ve got to invest your time and energy.

A good agent will be able to form a long-term career partnership with you. You want one whose vision for submission of your book, aligns with yours. Someone who understands your book. It’s not just about sales.

Are you comfortable with your choice of a literary agent?

You need to be able to communicate with each other efficiently. You want someone who is enthusiastic about the project and excited about you as a writer.


2. Check for confidence in their communication

When you are in need of lit review APA style, you look for one who is professional and delivers as promised. The same should apply when hunting for an agent. You want a professional agent working with you on this project.


One who responds promptly. However, some unpublished writers forget that agents work for free until you get published. It shouldn’t come as a surprise when they give more time to established writers.

Though, it isn’t a good enough reason to leave you in the dark. You should be able to communicate with each other with respect and clarity. An agent who treats you like a business partner is right for you.


3. Get to know the agent

Everyone wants to get the best services and deals. But you can’t achieve that without seeking more clarification from the agent.

Get to know the agent, and what they stand for or what they represent, it will give you a clearer picture of what you could be getting yourself into.

Ask about their submission list. You want an agent who took the time to list down the publishers or houses they are planning to send a submission.

If you have other projects in the pipeline, find time to discuss them, too.

Discuss the revision techniques and processes. How will you two go about this? Find out if they are comfortable with you venturing into multiple genres. Ask about their submission strategy.


4. Experience

No one wants their book to sit on shelves and collect dust. You want people to read and find delight in your work. Just as you would, when you hire the services of a review of literature APA.

When looking at the experience of a literary agent, it doesn’t mean that you should ignore the ones who are developing their track record. Find out the agency they are working with and its reputation. Is it one you would consider as appropriate for your work?

Check whether the agent had previous experience in publishing. For the established agents, evaluate their sales track record. What is their client list and what publishers have they worked with?


5. Listen to your inner voice

Our instincts are amazing. They could warn us of a disaster that’s about to come, or it could just be, that we are worried when we shouldn’t be. If you are approached by different agents, you should be on the lookout for red flags.

Does the agent know the market? Typically, literary agents get paid after they sell your work. It is usually a 15% commission on your royalties and advances. If you find one who charges any amount other than that, it’s advisable to avoid them.

Find out if the agent is willing to submit your book where you couldn’t. Upon contact, did you feel like they were sketchy or were they genuine, giving you satisfactory responses to your questions? Listen to what your brain tells you.


What to expect?

You are not out of the woods yet, by finding a good literary agent. You still have a long way to go, to move from being unpublished to a published writer. The right agent will share with you the feedback they receive from publishers/ editors.

The feedback will be the bedrock for starting discussions on how you could reposition the proposal or the book, for it to sell. You can ask for the rejection letters from the publishers. However, the agent is in no obligation to provide you with them.

Just because your book didn’t sell, doesn’t mean that the agent isn’t good at the job. A good literary agent will discuss any rejections with frankness. He or she will help you better your proposal/query package.

They ensure to prime the proposal for success. A good agent should be able to find you the best deal possible. From protecting your rights to asking for more money, the right agent will know how and when.



Finding the right literary agent for your work is essential. They can find opportunities where you cannot see. They support their clients when they need it. A good agent becomes your number one cheerleader, to cheer you on when you feel like giving up.

Find one who is enthusiastic about you and your work.



Lisa BrownLisa Brown works as a content manager. She is specialized in writing useful articles for writers, students and people who want to improve their writing skills. Her hobby is reading, travelling and blogging. Lisa`s life motto is “Never stop learning because life never stops teaching”.


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