Updated: Jun 12
The emotional excitement and stress that you feel writing a book will either motivate you to keep going, or unfortunately beg you to stop. Failure is a fear that can regress your courage, but rest assured and take a deep breath. It’s part of the process and it should be expected.There are many, many steps to accomplish before selecting an agent. It isn’t simply putting pen to paper and emailing them a copy of your manuscript. The endless hours that you have spent typing will not have an impact on the world without exposure. You need to prepare for the reality of that because there is a lot of patience involved in submission. This can sometimes become draining and complex but don’t let your brain think about giving up!
You have a creative mind and you need to use it for more than writing your thoughts, and that is to find the perfect agent. Ultimately, before hitting send, you need to ensure you wrote something worth reading. You can take steps, such as, creating an Excel sheet to track your novel’s chronological experiences and proof it 100 times. Also, ensure that you know and understand what writing category to represent. Last but not least, reject any rejection that may have no validity at all.Agents are human, and they want connection. Once that is accomplished, it is rewarding to hear how one feels the same way you do about your book.
The stack of papers that are in your hand after printing the entire novel before the agent gets a hold of it is the best feeling in the world. After that, it is time to find an agent and this means numerous agents will filter out first. Someone who will believe in you as much as you believe in yourself is your quest. How bad do you want it is the question? The obstacle of someone who doesn’t take the opportunity to represent your book is simply a way of life asking you how bad do you want this to happen? How much do you want to be a writer? Are you a writer at all? Real writers do way more than just write and they do way more than just saying, “I am a writer”. They take the steps necessary to ensure that their book is edited properly, make a genuine effort to ensure logical sequence took place, alongside that a piece of emotion went in it. After all of that is said and done, looking for an agent online and sending it out to as many agents as possible is necessary. There is no limit on how many you can send out. Just keep sending. Someone will say yes.
Yes, common sense of searching on Google for agents is also a way to start your list, but go beyond the norm. Looking for an agent will require you to understand whether they need editing done before submission or whether they have someone do that for you. They have many connections, but some people will only work with certain types of material. Figure out which one is best suited for what you’re trying to publish. Once you understand those factors, you can filter out the ones that you don’t need to waste your time on.
Always remember, JK Rawlings got turned down about 14 times. Stephanie Myers got turned down 12 times, and Chicken Soup for the Soul got turned down 114 times. The author of that book stated if he would have given up at 100 times, he would not be published today. Those books have made millions. But, this is not about the money. This is about your effort. It’s about how much passion you actually have for what writing takes. If one wanted to become an astronaut, they couldn’t just fly up. They would have to have a shuttle to take them over. But, they couldn’t just have a shuttle, they would need the shuttle to have fuel. In other words, there are many components to doing something that’s going make you successful. Whether you sell 1,000 copies or 100 million copies, the point is to educate yourself about the steps as much as possible.
Now, let’s give you some notes to take with you on your journey of finding an agent:
1. You need a query letter. This will introduce it but don’t give too much away and don’t compare it to other books. You’re unique.
2. Synopsis is needed. They will request this, which is the summary you would put in the back of the book, so make sure you have this prepared.
3. First chapter. They may request this if they are interested. Make sure you have edited it as much as humanly possible with your eyes, and possibly with a proofreader you trust.
4. Don’t send the full manuscript. A query letter and possible first chapter is all they will be willing to examine initially in most cases. They get a ton of stuff to read each year, it’s okay to make it simple.
5. Start with at least 15 reputable agents to send via email, or per instructions on their website.
6. Find novels that you loved which were successful and then determine who those agents are.
7. Print out the material! Read it with your eyes on the paper to ensure you have caught typos on screen and on paper. Then also give the paperwork to someone else to proof.
8. Personalize the query letter, which should represent the uniqueness of your literary works.
Those are some basics to start with and practices to keep in mind. You will be successful if you keep sending out the material until someone picks it up. The concept of these tips will help you improve your probability because agents love something unique. Your creation will create magic if you put the magic into it. Then, it’s just a matter of time for the right agent to pick up your work!