Which Literary Agent is Right for You?

07 Mar

Smaller, independent publishers will still accept queries and read manuscripts from new writers. But if your goal is to sell your book to one of the six big publishers, you better search for an agent. How and where do you find literary agents?

Start with the current Writers Market. Their listing contains all members of the AAR (Association of Authors Representatives), who do not charge for reading, critiquing and editing.  Authors in Canada find literary agents in an online listing of the Association of Canadian Publishers.  A listing of 239 literary agents in Europe, North America and other parts of the world can be found at Publishers Global, one of the most comprehensive resource for all things publishing.

When you check out the agent, you’ll want to contact “Writer Beware
They explain: “Time-crunched editors, who must devote their days to administrative tasks and have to shunt their actual editing work to nights and weekends, simply have no time to sift through submissions. More and more, they rely on agents as a filtering mechanism.

Most first novel sales, at least to the larger publishers, occur through agents.  Verify that this agent has a substantial, verifiable track record of selling books to commercial publishers, or, if new, a professional background in publishing or with another reputable agency.”

Before you contact an agent, read and follow:

  • Submission Guidelines
  • Query Policy
  • What (genre) is the agent is currently looking for
  • How to submit (email, online form or snail mail)

To get to know your future literary agent better, take your time to study carefully their websites / blogs to get an idea of their personality – as you will have many consultations during your writing career with this person. You should feel comfortable with the way they approach their clients. Going through some of the websites and blogs you will realize the huge spectrum of personalities among agents.

In the meantime edit, and then self-publish your manuscript as an e-book.  Who knows, maybe through professional social media marketing and your terrific platform it is such a success that agents will contact you!


Nadia Cornier

DHS Literary

Dystel & Goderich

Full Circle Lit

Barry Goldblatt

Jennifer Jackson

John Jarrold (UK agent)

Knight Agency

Lucienne Diver of The Knight Agency

Colleen Lindsay:

Jonathan Lyons (Lyons Literary)

Laurie McLean (Larson Pomada Agency)

Kristin Nelson

Anna McDermid & Assoc.

Lori Perkins

Janet Reid (of FinePrint)

Kate Schafer

Agent Sydney (Australian agent)

Andrew Zack

Rachelle Gardner

Carolyn Swayze

Gabriela Lessa

Scott Waxman



Hyper Smash


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One response to “Which Literary Agent is Right for You?

  1. authorheatherwood

    March 16, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Thanks for providing the links! I’ve used Preditors and Editors before, but never came across the Writer Beware resource.


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