If you intend to publish your novel the traditional way, then you must get a literary agent. Keep in mind that a literary agent can work as your representative and may help you to find publishers who may have ignored you otherwise. When it comes to traditional publishing, the literary agent can be your biggest advocate, though it can be hard to get the right literary agent. 

This is because you have to search the internet to find the right literary agent. But before you start looking for literary agent, it’s a good idea to understand how they can help you. This article discusses everything you should know about a literary agents. 

A Literary Agent:

By now you may be asking yourself, what is a literary agent? A literary agent also called a book agent refers to a writer’s representative. In most cases, a literary agent can act as a liaison between a writer and a publishing company. 

You can think of a literary agent as one of your business partners. They can represent you if you are sure that your novel is saleable to publishers and to the general public. When you sign a contract with a literary agent, they can work for you to make sure that you get potential publishing companies. Aside from leveraging their huge network, they are also usually good negotiators who can find the best deal for your book.

Once you decide to publish your book, most of the things cannot be familiar. As a result, the whole process can be stressful, though publishing your book needs to be an exciting adventure. After all, you are ready to avail your book to the public and make some sales. Therefore, you need to get literary agent so that you can become a published author. 

Remember that there is always a point where any person desires to tell their stories regardless of whether the story is a children’s book, memoir, or even a sci-fi. Some writers may not use a publisher to make their books available to the audience while others do. Take note that publishers usually handle hundreds or thousands of manuscripts each week. This is the reason why most publishers tend to reject unsolicited manuscripts.

The literary agent can act as your entry point to the publishing world. If you can find a literary agent who is convinced that your book can stand out on the market, then there are good chances that you can get a book deal. A publisher often knows that a literary agent vets manuscripts before working with writers. Hence, an endorsement from a literary agent can automatically guarantee a great book deal, and it removes the publisher’s initial doubt about an unsolicited manuscript. 

Also, this is another reason why you need to work with a literary agent because networking is part of their job. They can maintain relationships with publishing companies’ editors, and can know the right way to handle your manuscript. For instance, a large publishing company can have multiple smaller imprints, and you literary agent can know the imprint that is right for your manuscript. 

There is also a chance that your literary agent can send your manuscript to many publishers. In most cases, a query can catch the attention of several publishers. If this happens, then the literary agent can get multiple bids. This can help you to get a better book deal. 

As mentioned above, literary agents are available for every genre. Many literary agents tend to specialize in one or more genres and can handle queries for books that are in their preferred genres. Therefore, you need to find a literary agent for the genre of your book. You can search on Google to get literary agents or use sites that offer literary agent search service. Using such services can save you time and removes the frustration of spending a lot of time searching social media and websites.  

The Best Way To Work With A Literary Agent:

You should make sure that you complete your manuscript before you look for a literary agent. If you have a non-fiction book, then you can create a proposal that outlines what you want to cover. On the other hand, if it’s a fiction book, you must make sure that your manuscript is complete before you choose to send out queries to a literary agent. This includes polishing up the first draft by using a book editor.

The good thing about completing your manuscript before contacting a literary agent is that you can get a quick response. Sometimes, literary agents can respond to your query by requesting to have a look at your whole manuscript. This may lead you to delay sending the manuscript, especially if it’s not complete. Unfortunately, literary agent cannot wait for too long for you to complete your manuscript. Therefore, you need to be ready to send your manuscript right away.

It’s also important to know what to look for in a potential literary agent. You need to find literary agent who focuses on your genre. Many literary agents are usually straightforward when it comes to presenting their area of expertise. They can outline exactly the genre they represent, often on their site. And, if you decide to use a service that offers literary agents, then they can send you literary agents who focus on your genre and who may have represented books and writers you respect. 

You should also read the rules, especially after creating a list of potential literary agents who focus on your genre. Before you send out the queries to potential literary agents, make sure that you read the submission guidelines properly. 

You can also send queries in batches. Ideally, you should avoid sending out a lot of queries or too few queries. You need to send between 5 and 10 query letters simultaneously. If you fail to receive any response within a couple of months, then it’s a good idea to rework your query letter. Once an agent responds positively to the query letter, don’t rush to sign with them right away. Instead, you should wait until you get several responses before interviewing them. This is a good way you can find the right literary agent for your book.