How to Get a Literary Agent

Asking “how do I get an agent” is the wrong question. Some excellent advice in this article:

It’s not because self-publishing is the future or because you don’t need an agent in 2014 or blah blah. There’s plenty of room for those discussions elsewhere. It’s just the wrong question because asking it means you think the process matters.

It’s like saying: How do I enter the password? That’s helpful sure, but um, you have to have the actual password first. Chances are, you don’t. None of us do at first.

To make that clear: the password here is to have a really great book. A book with a lot of potential to sell or win awards or accomplish things that people in publishing find important. Actually not just potential, but likelihood, real likelihood of fulfilling it. That might not be easy, but it is really simple.

This is exactly it. The process doesn’t matter; you’re not selling your ability to follow a process, you’re selling a book. The book matters. Worry about writing a great book.

  1. I agree. If you’re still working on your book, it is the wrong question to ask.

    But people also need to know how the process works – because if you eff-up the process, you hurt your chances of selling that great book you’ve just written. I often advise people on how to write a pitch letter, how to approach agents or editors. And they seem to really need the advice.

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