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18 Literary Agents Reveal “How to Land a Book Deal”

Literary Agents Spill The Beans

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

Whether you’re a new author or have been on the New York Times Bestseller List for years, literary agents are likely top of mind. After all, these professionals may be just what you need to get published or take your career to the next level. A quality agent can review your manuscript and help you land a lucrative book deal.

Since literary agents are so integral to success, I came up with this revealing compilation of interviews with literary agents. Tune in and prepare to be inspired! Sometimes all that it takes is a little insight into the process that can help you gain a competitive edge and succeed in your writing career.

1. Jeff Herman

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0F4vvTWG74)

Jeff Herman is a well-respected agent and the author of “Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents.” He entered book publishing in his mid 20s when he didn’t have much experience. Since he had to figure out a lot on his own, he wrote this book to steer new authors in the right direction. In my opinion, investing in this book is a must, no matter where you are in your career. Once you read it, you’ll find it well worth the money.

Jeff Herman

2. Brooks Sherman

(https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2116395441773699)

Brooks Sherman shares what he looks for in a query letter. He explains that the most effective letters focus on plot and character rather than themes or messages. In addition, he likes to learn about a writer’s educational background as well as details about any past publications and writer’s workshops they’ve participated in.

Brooks Sherman

3. Mollie Glick

(https://sobookingcool.com/2018/09/12/interview-with-literary-agent-mollie-glick/)

Mollie Glick states that she loves her job as a literacy agent because it challenges her to figure out how to push messages that are worth sharing into the world. She often reaches out to authors who have accomplished something that is incredibly inspirational or post something that sparks an interesting conversation.

Mollie Glick

4. Sallyanne Sweeney

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEoU5xA6HeY)

Sallyanne Sweeney explains that she enjoys working with writers on manuscripts that they might have been working on for years. She loves to see the transformation from an initial idea to a finished book and being involved in every aspect of the publishing process.

Sallyanne Sweeney

5. Howard Yoon

(https://www.rossyoon.com/howard-yoon)

Howard Yoon explains that the process of working with an author is a lot like dating. During the first couple of meetings, you’re not sure if things are going to work out. When it actually does work, everything clicks. Yoon chooses books he believes have a valuable contribution to the world.

Howard Yoon

6. Mark Gottlieb

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sQGSPrdaA8)

Mark Gottlieb talks about how authors can go about finding agents. He says that authors should always aim high and think highly of themselves. Gottlieb recommends Publishers Marketplace, which ranks publishers by number of book deals and lets you filter your search by genre.

Mark Gottlieb

7. Alyssa Jennette

(https://www.facebook.com/cardinalrulepress/videos/1158824181170762)

Alyssa Jennette talks about what authors should do before seeking an agent. She suggests they send their work to a critique group, an editor, or another professional so they can look it over and provide feedback before it gets in front of an agent. This way it’ll be as ready for publishing as possible.

Alyssa Jennette

8. Jessica Reino

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UM-Y8xucJsE)

Jessica Reino reinforces the fact that every author is unique so it’s important to write what you want to write and edit your work the way you see fit. She also discusses Twitter and other social media platforms, which she highly recommends to nonfiction authors. Reino notes that if you’re going to create social media outlets, only do so if you’re going to actively use them.

Jessica Reino

9. Eva Scalzo

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UL0vYbcgohY)

Eva Scalzo encourages her authors to tell her which editors and publishers they’d like to work with as many have specific preferences. She advises them on what they need to know about these professionals and organizations and helps them come up with a back up plan.

Eva Scalzo

10. Katie Greenstreet

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rr6d0X2P7k)

Katie Greenstreet explains that she looks for a very unique voice in the first chapter. She loves quirky narrators and will always be drawn to something that she hasn’t seen before. Greenstreet also wants to know that an author truly understands the big picture of their work and conveys it clearly in their synopsis.

Katie Greenstreet

11. Jim McCarthy

(http://www.middlegradeninja.com/2020/08/middle-grade-ninja-episode-88-literary.html)

Jim McCarthy explains that there are plenty of great books but he can’t represent them for the sole reason that he doesn’t have the editorial vision for them. He reinforces the fact that authors should find agents that are worthy of them.

Jim McCarthy

12. Stephen Barbara

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2ymzI9EcLk)

Stephen Barbara reveals that his role as an agent is a combination of support, advocacy, and a little bit of therapy. He also explains that he likes query letters that prove writers have done their research and know who he is and what he’s done in the past.

Stephen Barbara

13. Broo Doherty

(https://vimeo.com/511534956)

Broo Doherty discusses general questions about literary agents and gives insight about what it’s like to be an agent. She also dives deep into what she’s looking for in new clients and how she manages her existing client base.

Broo Doherty

14. Ted Weinstein

(https://vimeo.com/18828443)

Ted Weinstein states that the keys to success for any author come down to two things: marketability and personal passion. He also encourages authors to do their research when looking for agents and recommends a few great books for them to read.

Ted Weinstein

15. Davinia Andrew-Lynch

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kRN33R_Y68)

Davinia Andrew-Lynch goes over the typical day of a literary agent. She explains that every day is different. Some days are packed with meetings while others are filled with editing manuscripts. There are also days reserved for admin work like sorting through contracts and consulting with designers about covers.

Davinia Andrew-Lynch

16. Donald Maass

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BhFf27agew)

Renowned agent Donald Maass founded the Donald Maass Literary Agency in 1980. His agency sells more than 150 novels to major publishers on a national and global level. He states that he tries to articulate why a certain plot or character isn’t working to truly help authors.

Donald Maass

17. Andrea Somberg

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axgOKH-2p8o)

Andrea Somberg has been a literary agent for over 15 years and represents several New York Times best selling authors. In this hour-long interview, she discusses a number of topics, including what draws her to queries, what types of authors succeed, and how new authors can grow their careers.

Andrea Somberg

18. Chip MacGregor

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PeuQOd5bIg)

Chip MacGregor has represented many big time authors including Brennan Manning, Vincent Zandri, Rachel Hauck, Mindy Clark, Irene Hannon, Bonnie Gray, and Michelle McKinney. In this interview, he talks about the changing world of publishing, primarily in the Christian market.

Chip MacGregor

The Bottom Line: Watch these literary agent interviews. Take notes. Even if they don’t represent your genre they can offer you insight into the process of “Getting A BOOK DEAL.”

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.book-marketing-expert.com/  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net

 

 


The Author’s Checklist

The Author’s Checklist

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

If you’ve written a book and are ready to publish it, you may be wondering what to do next. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled this handy author’s checklist to help you navigate through the publishing phase and beyond. By following it, you can set your book up for unparalleled success.

Choose the Right Title

There’s no denying your title can make or break the success of your book. It’s what will attract readers and get your book noticed. If you’re unsure of how to name your book, I encourage you to check out my award-winning bestselling book, “Book Title Generator: A Proven System in Naming Your Book.” I implore you to consider all options in the quest for the perfect book title. From using numbers, alliteration, idioms, and keyword research, Book Title Generator covers them all.

It’s packed with solid tips and tricks that will help you craft the best title for your book.

Get a Compelling Book Cover

The truth is readers and media members will judge a book by its cover. That’s why it’s important to ensure your cover is professional and ideal for your target audience. Fortunately, there are plenty of incredible book cover designers on websites like Book Covers for All and Killer Covers. It’s a good idea to visit some bookstores to get some inspiration for your cover. Also, don’t forget to check out my article on the “46 Book Cover Designers to Create Your Best Selling Cover.”

Ask for Feedback

As a writer, it’s easy to spend hours upon hours trying to perfect your writing. While your opinion of your book matters, the feedback of others can be invaluable. Ask friends, family, acquaintances, and those in the industry to give your book a fresh set of eyes. Not only are they likely to help you catch typo and grammar issues, they might give you some ideas on how to tighten up and improve your book. In the end, trust book professionals when it comes to the make or break decisions.

Hire an Editor

By hiring an editor, you can receive professional feedback on your book. Before you commit to one, however, make sure you check out their portfolio and references. Not all editors are created equal and you want to ensure the one you choose has the skills and experience to set your book up for success. Take a look at my article on “How Editing, Copyediting, and Proofreading Make Your Book Shine.”

Figure Out Your Target Audience

Target audience refers to the people who will buy and read your book. Think about your genre and theme to determine who they might be. Make sure the Amazon categories you select are relevant and focused about the topic and genre and not general in nature. Once you nail down your audience, you’ll find it easier to promote and market your book.

Design a Book Marketing Strategy

Before you publish your book, think about book marketing. Will you create a standalone website for it? Do you have plans to promote it via Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets? Or will you host book signings and mail review copies of your book to members of the media and potential reviewers? When it comes to book marketing success, having a plan that you execute well is just as important as the creativity that went into writing your book.

Consider a Literary Agent

There are many benefits of working with a literary agent. Depending on the agent you choose, they can pitch your book to their known publishing contacts and give you a competitive edge. Many publishers will only work with agents because they ‘vet’ the books and ‘weed out’ the books that are not a good fit for their publishing house. To find the right agent check out my article about “How to Sign a Top Literary Agent” on my blog Book-Publicist.com.

Decide Whether to Use a Distributor

A distributor delivers books to retailers. Since most libraries and bookstores won’t usually accept sales pitches and books from self published authors, a distributor may be worth exploring. By working with one, you can bridge the gap between you and large audiences.

Figure Out When to Publish

Contrary to popular belief, the holiday season isn’t the best time to publish your book. If possible, publish your book at any other time. January, February, and March are ideal because the weather is usually colder and people are stuck inside with more time to read. If you are deciding to publish in December or January, choose January because you’ll have a new copyright date. If you publish in December it’ll look one year old in January even though it’s only been out one month.

The Bottom Line: Remember, pilots use checklists before each flight and authors need a checklist before they hit “publish!”

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.book-marketing-expert.com/  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net.

 

How an Author’s Consultant Can Cinch Your Book Deal

Meet an authors consultant

As a book publicist, I am frequently asked to find a literary agent for my author clients. While I know many agents and publishers and work with them, it’s not what I do. But, from time to time, I find someone who can really help out my clients and I’ve found that person. Her name is Debra Englander.

Debra Englander

Debra Englander

Debby has extensive editorial experience including reporting for Money, managing the Fortune Book Club and serving as editorial director at John Wiley for nearly 17 years. She currently works with authors on creating winning book proposals, editing manuscripts and content creation for online and print projects.

Debby’s editorial service is unique. She’ll listen to your book concept and then advise you on next steps. She’ll tell you whether the idea is sound and likely to interest large publishers. If so, she will help you craft the perfect query letter to a literary agent or occasionally, directly to a publisher. Englander, who has ghost written countless successful query letters for clients, stresses that first impressions are everything and that there are a few common mistakes aspiring writers that impact their prospects. “A query letter is an art form in itself,” says Englander.

She adds, “I spend a lot of time talking with authors, agents and editors. I’m really a matchmaker, between authors, agents and publishers. Sometimes, I’ll tell someone to self-publish if the book needs to get to market quickly. On occasion, I will tell someone the book needs more work before it can be submitted. I give practical advice based on many years in the book business. I don’t want authors, especially first-timers, wasting time, money and effort and ending up disappointed.”

As a book marketing specialist who deals daily with the media, I learned a long time ago that a common mistake in crafting media pitch letters is making them too long. We live in the Twitter world of 140 characters or less. This has trained people to be impatient and critical of long winded introductions. The same is true of query letters to an agent. A query letter should be no more than half a page. You have to know exactly what agents want to hear, what they’re looking for. Tell them only that and end the letter right there! Keep it short, keep it sweet and you’ll be one step closer to landing an agent.

Agents are in the business of selling books. They’re not our best friends, they’re not our therapists, and they’re not our life coaches.  The best agents focus on what they do best which is generating enough excitement on a book and sell it for as high a price as possible. When you get paid, they get paid. End of story.

That’s why I like the concept of an “author matchmaker” because he or she can put the best possible spin on your book with an irresistible query letter to get an agent to pay attention. You know how to write – the author coach knows how to sell your book.

Alternatively, if you are a do-it-yourselfer then check out my article “How to Land a Literary Agent” on my blog: www.Book-Publicist.com

The Bottom Line: Why reinvent the wheel? Sign up with a book consultant like Debby Englander by dropping her a note at: writereditord@gmail.com

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.book-marketing-expert.com/ or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net

About Debra Englander

Englander served as editorial director at John Wiley Publishing for nearly 17 years and was on the receiving end of thousands of pitches from agents and authors. She currently works with authors on creating winning book proposals and editing manuscripts. https://www.linkedin.com/in/DebraEnglander

 

Authors: Does Your First Line Grab The Reader and Hold On?

MOJO If I don't Get the Book Written

TO THE BEST OF my understandably shaky recollection, the first time I died it went something like this. – James Patterson, Private

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

Did you spend enough time crafting the first line in your book? In our attention deficit world these days it’s more important now than ever to grab the reader’s attention immediately. Why? Because if they don’t like the first line they may never read any further and may not buy the book!

We all know when we’ve read a good first line as it grabs you by the lapels and never lets you go. We’ve all heard memorable first lines our entire lives from bedtime stories our parents read us to the books published this year.

So what about your first line?  Is it memorable? Does it contain words with long lasting meaning and value? Some unforgettable first line examples include:

  • TO THE BEST OF my understandably shaky recollection, the first time I died it went something like this. – James Patterson, Private
  • Twas the Night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring not even a mouse. – Clement Clarke Moore, A Visit from St. Nicholas
  • When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow. – Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird
  • Call me Ishmael, – Herman Melville, Moby Dick
  • It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. – George Orwell, 1984
  • It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. – Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
  • Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. – Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
  • Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. – Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind
  • If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. – J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Now that you’ve read some notable opening lines, let’s hear what authors had to say about their process of creating a remarkable first line.
From an article in The Atlantic, Stephen King said, “An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say, Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this.”

Simon Kernick, a novelist, told The Telegraph during an interview, “For me, the most important bit is that you grip your reader from the start. All good writers really need to think about the first line, it’s hugely important. If you spend too much time setting things up, these days it’s not going to work.”

Kathryn Guare, self-publishing author, shared her insight and said, “The first sentence of a novel is exactly that—nothing more, and nothing less. It is the building block and the foundation from which to build everything else. It needs to work, but it does not need to be a work of art onto itself. If you like it yourself, then stop obsessing over it.”

The opening line holds crucial importance for both the author and the reader. It is of the utmost importance to hook the reader with the very first sentence, and engage them to read the whole book. A few ways to do so include:

  • Painting a vivid picture – Gain your reader’s attention by painting an image that stays with them for the rest of the book. For example, an article on The Write Practice shared an excerpt from Cormac McCarthy’s, All the Pretty Horses, which uses this technique.

 The candleflame and the image of the candleflame caught in the pierglass twisted and righted when he entered the hall and again when he shut the door.

  • Capturing the reader’s interest with a scenario or question – rather than painting a picture for your readers capture a scenario or recollection of thought from your main character. As a reader, you might picture the character with his father in deep conversation or envision the father sitting his son down to share valuable life lessons. If you’re imagining a similar scene, the author has done their job correctly. For example, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby.

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.

  • Surprising the reader – this technique is used often by many authors to deceive their readers. Many authors use short and choppy sentences to confuse their readers and to keep them intrigued. A surprising opening is a theatrical way to present your book’s story into reality. For example, an article by Diane O’Connell, a book publishing coach and CEO of Write To Sell Your Book, shared an excerpt from Iain M. Banks, The Crow Road, which uses this technique.

 It was the day my grandmother exploded.

Writing words that are funny, truthful and concise – the best technique that an author can use is honesty. A good example of honesty is the opening line of Lemony Snicket’s, A Bad Beginning, and A Series of Unfortunate Events. Snicket (pen name for American author Daniel Handler is open and upfront with his reader’s from the very beginning by telling them that this isn’t a fairytale story. By using the honesty technique, he let his readers’ know what they were in for.

If you enjoy books with happy endings than you are better off reading some other book.

The Bottom Line: Grab your reader from the very beginning with an engaging and memorable opening line!

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.book-marketing-expert.com/ or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net

 

Authors: How to Sign a Top Literary Agent

Authors: Is it time to get an agent?

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

Landing an agent for many authors is the most sought after goal. Why? It’s been long considered the fastest and most profitable path to publishing success. If that is your goal then you’ll want to check out these tips, techniques and resources to help you land the quality literary agent you are seeking.

Where to begin?

Get up to speed with the latest information with books and resources on the topic. According to Jeff Herman, book agent and author of Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents, authors should assess potential agents on the following points before sealing a deal:

1. The list of books the agent has sold to publishers, including the publishers’ and authors’ names.

2. The agent’s reputation online.

3. Why s/he likes your book and how s/he plans to market your book, with reference to a timeline and how much you’ll potentially earn.

Time to Get a Literary Agent

Time to Get a Literary Agent

Note that real agents do not:

1. Charge upfront fees

2. Offer to edit for a fee

3. Sell adjunct services to their clients

4. Submit books to vanity or non-advance paying publishers

The critical step in the process is to research agents before you submit to them. Avoid agents who charge fees other than the standard 15 percent commission they receive on everything you get paid (your advance and royalties).

Narrow Your Search

Publishers Marketplace is one of the best places to research literary agents. Buy a subscription for $25 and access a wealth of information about publishing. With hundreds of agents hosting web pages, Publishers Marketplace is arguably the largest and most comprehensive repository to find info on top literary agencies. In fact, Publishers Marketplace claims to have “more e-mail and other contact information on more agents than any other source, updated daily.”

Member authors can create their own Publishers Marketplace web page and indicate they are seeking an agent, which advertises you to agent and publishers.

An added bonus to PublishersMarketplace.com is the deals database, which includes the actual dollar figure of the advances paid to authors for many books. The daily updates provide essential information and searches reveal editors’ buying patterns and more. The site also hosts a contact database that tracks editors on the move. Find out more here: https://www.publishersmarketplace.com/benefits.shtml
Other resources to consider include:

1. Manuscript Wish List visit: https://mswishlist.com/

2. AgentQuery.com

3. QueryTracker.net

4. WritersMarket.com

5. Chuck Sambuchino’s Guide to Literary Agents 2017

Social media is also a powerful tool to locate agents. Search social media for associations of agents— there are plenty. Michael Larsen, literary agent, suggests authors check out the Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR) http://www.aaronline.org/ as an outlet for finding quality agents. According to Larsen, “The 450 agents in AAR are the best source of experienced, reputable agents. Members are required to follow the AAR’s code of ethics.”

Another resource for finding agents is simply the acknowledgments section in books similar to what you envision your own book to be. Read the acknowledgments and collect the names of those agents mentioned and contact them directly.

Don’t be shy— Have a presence.

Share your personal brand with the world, both online and in person. It’s wise to create professional social media accounts, an online work portfolio or blog. According to Michael Larsen, “Let agents find you- be visible online and off, get published and give talks, publicize your work and yourself. When you’re visible enough, agents will find you.”  This strategy worked for Andy Weir, author of The Martian. After selling 35,000 ebooks for $.99 and topping Amazon’s Sci-Fi Bestseller List, an agent contacted Weir and he was soon represented by Random House for a book deal. On top of that FOX contacted him for the film rights of his novel. The rest is history.

A popular networking strategy is to attend writers’ conferences. Particularly for first-time authors, there’s no better way to get to an agent than at a conference. Agents typically won’t sign authors on the spot, but accept their advice and remember that networking is pivotal to a successful career. According to Chip MacGregor, literary agent and author of Ask the Agent, “I love writers’ conferences. Don’t go thinking you’re going to land an agent; just plan to meet people and learn a lot.”  Where are the best conferences? Here’s a list I’ve compiled of upcoming writer’s conferences. https://sanfranciscobookreview.com/writers-conferences-put-authors-road-success/

Make It Perfect. Practice Proper Etiquette

“Nothing detracts from good writing like bad editing,” says Debra Englander an experienced non-fiction editor and writer. “Submit your best work. Have it copy edited and proofread by a professional. Don’t ruin a potential relationship with an agent because of mistakes.”  Englander served as editorial director at John Wiley Publishing for nearly 17 years and was on the receiving end of thousands of pitches from agents and authors. She currently works with authors on creating winning book proposals and editing manuscripts.

Also, research an agent before you submit to them and check the agent’s guidelines before packaging and submitting your work. Before you commit to an agent, settle any unfinished business with others still considering your work. Just make it clear that you have an offer that requires an immediate decision.

If you think you’re ready to be placed with an agent, consider the direction your writing career is headed. According to Chuck Sambuchino, author of the Guide to Literary Agents, “Most agents say they’re looking to represent careers, not books.”

The Bottom Line: Agents can land you the deal you could never obtain yourself. But the pursuit of an agent can take months and years. If you still want an agent then study up and do it now!

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.book-marketing-expert.com/ or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net