Top 10 Things You Can Do To Get A Literary Agent

10.  Don’t be douchy on social media; agents do look at your blog, website, Twitter, Facebook, etc… Nobody wants to work with douchy people. (Well, I don’t.)

9..  Have patience. The business of publishing is all about hurry up and wait.

8.  Include all your contact information in your query.

7.  Have zero typos and/or grammatical errors in your query (so have someone proof read it for you).

6.  Get the agent’s name right in the query. (This is a pet peeve. I’ve heard SO many agents complain about this.)

5.  Follow the agent’s submission guidelines precisely (e.g. regarding attachments, synopses, bio, etc…).

4.  Write an interest-producing query letter, without being weird.

3.  Do your research to figure out which agents represent work like yours and then submit to them, not just to “big names” who might not even represent the kind of work that you do.

2.  If you get a revise/resubmit, really put in the work and revise it! And thank the agent for taking the time to give you feedback before you’re even a client, as well as being given the opportunity to resubmit.

#1. thing you can do to get a literary agent:  Write an amazing manuscript!

Which of these things do you NOT do? Why?



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10 responses to “Top 10 Things You Can Do To Get A Literary Agent


  2. Number 6 makes me blush. I’m seriously name challenged and I’ve been guilty of messing up agents’ names more than once. And yes, number 9 is exactly right: ‘hurry up and wait’ says it all.

  3. This post could use a graph with a spectrum of creepy-douchy-annoying-nerdy-weird-awkward-quirky-unique. Now that I’m focused on not being douchy, I think I am being douchy. Dang it.

  4. Erik, Joining Publishers Marketplace is invaluable for researching who might be a good fit.

  5. It’s easy to avoid being douchy, but “without being weird” is always a challenge!

  6. Great list, thank you! I think I’ve done all these things (except #2… which I’m hoping will happen soon!)….

  7. I found to be very helpful. I could narrow down the list of agents to those who represented both fantasy and young adult + middle grade. Then I checked out the agency and several times found an even better fit than the agent that led me there. Finding someone who specifically mentioned steampunk felt like striking gold.