Monday, August 24, 2009

You learned in the earlier blog how to find the right author’s agent for that manuscript you want to submit. How do you contact that person?

I will return to 2012 in my next blog. Now I must answer some queries on how to get published.
My earlier blog—posted a couple of blogs ago—told you how to find the right agent and publisher. It also explained why finding an agent is important. Go to that blog and re-read it. After you’ve learned how to locate the agent’s name and that of the publisher, you need to contact them. Go online and google the agent’s name. Google the agent’s website, and it will contain all your information. If you don’t find it, google the agent’s name and profession. Maybe their name isn’t mentioned in the name of the agency. Many of the big multi-media agencies don’t mention the name of the agent.

A non-Internet venue? Go to your library and look the agent up in the Literary Marketplace (LMP). If you can’t locate their agency, look for their name in the index. Or look in the library’s copy of The Writer’s Market. They will have an agent section and an index. Look for other publishing reference books as well.

Many agents are in New York, so you could go online and look them up in the New York online phone directory. Or you could telephone New York City information.

These agents are business people. They do not conceal their addresses and phone numbers. You should find their addresses and phone numbers at the very least, perhaps even their email addresses. If you call the agent’s switchboard, they may well give you his or her email address as well.

If you absolutely could not find the agent’s name, I mentioned in the previous blog how to learn the name of the author’s editor. You could write the editor of the successful author you most closely resemble at his or her publishing company and ask for the agent’s name. You could then look them up.

Next we’ll discuss how to meet the successful author you most resemble and how to recruit that author in your quest for your perfect agent.


  1. Bob's comment that agents are business people is one of the important facts to keep in mind when trying for an agent. They make money on books they sell, so you have to give them a book that they can sell and that they know how to sell. Many agents tend to specialize, or at least seem to do better handing a certain niche. I've asked agents what they're looking for and almost always have been told "good books." That is BS. Most of them wouldn't recognize a good story outside of the genre they are used to handling. But then again, what do I know?

  2. I have worked as an agent and you cannot imagine the garbage you get in terms of submissions from writers. Before you send ANYTHING to an agent, sit down with the writer's marketing type books and learn the form agents require. One last thing -- please don't listen to any advice that tells you to send "your best chapter" because your best chapter may be 200 pages into the book or even the very last one. At the very least, send the very beginning of the book.

  3. I have also worked with an agent and was shocked by how much work authors put into their writing -- and frequently, how little effort they put into their submissions. Many times the submission is rejected because the accompanying materials are so dumb, there is no enthusiasm to read the materials.