Literary agents want to discover you. It’s true. You may not believe it, you may be jaded from the umpteenth unanswered query, but we really ARE looking for you.
As we’ve said before, your success is our success. That's why we want to tell you how NOT to connect with an agent.
If you don’t want to connect with an agent, send us a query to read your manuscript that’s outside of the genre we work in. That means you haven’t researched what we, as literary agents, are looking for. It’s okay to do a little stalking or research, whichever word you prefer. Every agent has a specific taste for a genre of books. Sending a literary agent something they aren’t looking for is a great way NOT to connect.
Here’s another way to NOT connect with a literary agent: Send us an “I’d love to pick your brain” email. Literary agents are busy. We’ve got a full inbox of requests. When it comes to prioritizing our time, vague requests like “pick your brain” or “ask you a couple of questions” are great ways for us to ignore and delete those emails. It’s okay to be direct with your query. We prefer that. Tell us about your book and why it would be a great fit for us as agents.
“Showing up without a book proposal is like coming to a job interview without a resume - you need one to land the job.”
Not being prepared is the last piece of advice we have if you want to know how NOT to connect with a literary agent. If you’ve done the research to identify the right agent, crafted a strong query letter, and included a book proposal, you’ve done something most writers fail to do when reaching out to agents: You’ve come prepared for the next steps. Many of the requests we get have some of these parts, but not all. And the most common part left out is not having a book proposal. Showing up without a book proposal is like coming to a job interview without a resume - you need one to land the job.
That’s why we created “The Essential Book Proposal” course.
The Essential Book Proposal is an 11-module video course that gives you the inside scoop on every element your proposal needs to catch the attention of agents and editors. We literally walk you step-by-step through each section of a book proposal and show you what it is, why you need it, and how to make it awesome. We use examples from actual book proposals that we have worked on that have received significant advances as inspiration and instruction for you.
And best of all, at the end of this course, you are going to walk away with a completed first draft of your proposal!
Each of the things we’ve outlined today is a key to finding the right literary agent. Remember: Know what the agent is looking for, hone your query letter to what that agent wants, and include a book proposal. It’s not hard to connect with a literary agent if you know what to do.
Have you done “The Essential Book Proposal” course? If not, now’s the time to learn what it is, why you need it, and how to make it awesome. Learn the Indispensable Secrets to Writing a Stand-Out Book Proposal that Agents and Editors Crave.