How To Get A Literary Agent


How can you find the right literary agent for your book? What will make an agent want to represent you? Agents want to work with authors who exhibit professionalism, discipline, confidence in their mission and passion for it.

Got all that? Here’s what else you need for a non-fiction book.

  • Book proposal
  • Guides that lists literary agents
  • Query letter

And you thought writing the book was the hard part! Here’s the key thing to understand about a book proposal. It’s a sales package. Agents get 100-200 proposals every week. Here’s how to make yours stand out from the pack.

5 Tips on Creating Bestselling Book Proposals

  • Be clear about your mission. Why are you writing this book? Who are you trying to help? What can you teach people to do?
  • Demonstrate your expertise.
  • Write the summary as if it is jacket copy. What would make yours a compelling, must-read best seller that jumps off book shelves?
  • What will readers learn from reading the book? How will your book change their lives? Put those features and benefits into the proposal.
  • Can you help sell your book? To whom? How? Describe your audience and the marketing platform you will use to reach them.

The next step is to find agents using Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents, Publishers Marketplace, Publishers Weekly, or other resource guides. Also look in the acknowledgments of bestselling books, where authors often thank their agents.

Smart Author Tip: Craft a personalized query letter. What about the agent’s clients,
books and career makes the two of you a good fit? Explain your book, its market, and your expertise.

Finding a literary agent requires time, creativity and discipline. If there were a quick formula to this, I’d give it to you. What I can do is wish you the best of luck, and tell you to keep working towards accomplishing your dreams.

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