How to Get an Agent

Beginning writers procrastinate even though they know deep in their bones that they have it, that they are writers, that their words matter. If you’re still having trouble showing up for yourself check out  The Artist’s Way.

I’m not saying that after that new terrors won’t appear. They will. But eventually even inertia will move you toward the next big question: ‘How will I ever get an agent?’

When that happens just trust that you’ll find a path just like I did. I was an empty nester in a suburban demographic of people thirty years younger than me with shiny new careers. I was preparing to join the largest reverse migration from the north to the south of African Americans since the last one north. Surrounded by boxes I was warming up to my new affinity group: retirees. And I’d just celebrated my face book birthday with the six or seven of my almost 700 face book friends who sent greetings. I was blessed, and it was time for me to leap. I’d just sold my house and was preparing to leave my spiffy zip code when my last bed and breakfast guest in Massachusetts laid her wisdom on me. She’s a published author, with agent, and contract for book she’s currently researching.

And this is what she said to me.

1. Read the book Best American Essays of the Century and The Art of the Personal Essay

2. Search Writer’s Market Place Guide to Finding a Literary Agent

3. See if you fit with books and people that the agent represents

4. Write one page query letter to agent(s) that resonate with your kind of work

a. Include who the book will sell to how your book is the perfect market for….

b. Mention that the style of book ‘reads like a cross between…. and …..

c. Explain how the book is structured

d. Say “I’d love to send you a chapter and an outline narrative” and include your contact information.

5. When an agent writes back saying “Yes, please send me…” do so. They’ll tell you what to send, and be sure to include synopsis, a paragraph per section of high points and chapter and whatever else they request.

So, I’ll let you know how this works for me.

Quote of the Day:

When I write, I don’t allow the fear of consequences to interfere with the writing process. I have in the past paid for my commitment to the truth and the way I live my life. I am prepared to pay more if I have to.

~ Taslima Nasrin