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9 Tips Where & How to Query to Literary Agents

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A typical literary agency receives close to 5,000 unsolicited query letters/book proposals per year – or approx. 150 per working day. On average these agents accept only 10-12 new clients – only one out of every 500 submissions… Do you want to learn how to write a query, and how to approach the agent?
Do you want to get to know more about the person before hand – after all, she or he will be your partner for a long time?  My best advice: Read their blogs to get informed about the process and find out more about how they work and what they are like before you approach them. And have a “business plan” for your book ready: Who will be your readers, who is your competition and how will you market your book. You will be asked for this! Here are some examples of questions you might be asked.
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Rachelle Gardner Rachelle Gardner is an agent with Books and Such Literary Agency, representing both fiction and non-fiction. She offers query tips and book proposal advice.
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Nathan Bransford Nathan Bransford knows a lot about writing and publishing, and offers in his blog advice on: How to Find a Literary Agent, How to Write a Query Letter, The Basic Query Letter Formula, Examples of Good Queries, How to Format Your Query Letter …
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Agent Research Ask them about an agent and they will tell you if he or she has established a public record, and if we have had any negative reports on the agent’s business practices. This service is free.
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Agent Query Agent Query offers the largest and most current searchable database of literary agents on the web—a treasure trove of reputable, established literary agents seeking writers.
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BookEnds Agency BookEnds, LLC, is a literary agency focusing on fiction and nonfiction books for adult audiences. In their workshop Wednesdays everyone can post queries out there and will get comments open, also to anonymous posters.
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Nelson Newsletter Kristin Nelsons blog is a-must-read for every author about to send out a query. Subscribe to the Nelson Literary Agency newsletter.
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Query Shark Send your query in for critique. A wealth of resources and Janet Reid shares them all, she also dissects queries, posting lots of examples what writers are doing right – and wrong!
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Query Wednesday Gabriela Lessa, a Brazilian editor, writer, literary agent assistant and journalist helps you with your query. Have your query analyzed on QUERY WEDNESDAY.
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Call My Agent!
In which a literary agent in Sydney, Australia attempts to decode the world of publishing in order to assist writers. And sometimes to get things off her chest.

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Resources and More Blogs About Literary Agents:
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What Literary Agents Want to Know From You
https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/what-literary-agents-want-to-know-from-you/
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How Agents work and How to work with Agents
https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/how-agents-work-how-to-work-with-agents/ .
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Must-Read Blog to learn more about agents and how to approach them
http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents
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http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents
How to Write a Query Letter
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https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/5-tips-for-successful-book-submissions/
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100’s of Links to Publishers and Agents
https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/100s-of-links-to-publishers-and-agents/
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Which Literary Agent is Right for You?
https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/which-literary-agent-is-right-for-you/
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Association of Author’s Representatives (lists agents)
http://aaronline.org/

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For more agent blogs go to the absolutewrite forum: 

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37784
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When you check out the agent, you’ll want to contact “Writer Beware
Visit often and get the latest alerts from WRITER BEWARE:
http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/alerts/
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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars  Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/
to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,030 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

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http://www.111publishing.com
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5 Tips for Successful Book Submissions

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Don’t give agents or publishers a reason to reject your manuscript submission.  I could write a book and fill it with these dreadful “submissions” that came to my inbox/mailbox in the last years. On one site I feel pity for the sender, on the other hand I just can’t understand why they don’t make the effort to read submission guidelines on publishers websites, get it right and learn how to write submissions to publishers. Why do authors work many months or even years on a manuscript, and then don’t learn how to sell it? There are just a few basics to be familiar with:
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Genre / Category
Most publishers or agents are specialized in certain genres. It also gets harder for authors if they do cross-genres. However, sending a query for poetry to a publisher, who explicitly states on his website under submission guidelines, that they only accept non-fiction and how-to-guides, is a waste of your and their time and money to ask “if they take on poetry”.  Not researching what genres an agent or publisher is interested in, is not only impolite, but will for sure result in rejection.

Many resources such as PublishersGlobal, PublishingWeekly, Writer’s Market or AgentQuery.com will help you to find the right places / agents / publishers for your genre.  Another possibility is to perform a Google search for the words literary agent and your genre. Carefully study your selected agents’ website to find more information.
A word of caution: In former blogs we wrote that – as in many other publishing fields – there are a few “rotten apples”, meaning agents that are charging authors for reading their manuscripts or demand a fee for his or her “evaluation” of their manuscript.
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Follow Submission Guidelines
Not reading and acting accordingly to an agent’s or publishers individual submission guidelines will end your query letter immediately in the recycle bin. Find answers to questions like these in the agents’ guidelines:

  • Do they want a query letter only?
  • Do they want a query with the first pages of your manuscript?
  • Do they want a query and the first three chapters?
  • Do they accept queries via e-mail or via regular mail?
  • Read and follow their guidelines in detail!

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How to Write a Query Letter
First of all: find out the name of the agent or editor at the publishing house you will query. Never, ever, write “To whom it may concern”. It only shows your are not caring whoever will receive it. Maybe the intern … Don’t forget to add all of your contact information: address, e-mail address, and phone number.

The QueryShark advises:

  • “The opening paragraph is meant to make a pitch regarding your protagonist and your book in a way that the agent will fall in love with them.”
  • “The second paragraph provides the synopsis. Do not include every little detail, it is meant to summarize the essence of the obstacles in the story. Stick to the big picture.”
  • “The third paragraph is all about you. What relevant credentials, honors, and awards have you or your books achieved? In other words, why you and not another author should be published.”
  • “The closing paragraph should recognize the agent’s submission guidelines, why you felt they were a good fit for your novel, and an action to take…i.e. requesting the full manuscript.”

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Your Query
You will need a complete book proposal, three sample chapters and a cover letter (the query). A book proposal is made up of several components, such as an overview, competitive titles, marketing of your book, etc., and should be at least 10 pages long – a kind of business plan for your book. BTW: This is something that every writer should do for their work, no matter if they pitch an agent or publisher or if they intend to self-publish their book.

Most writers don’t know that they need only three chapters written, not the entire manuscript when pitching to an agent or publishing house. Once the offer is accepted, the rest of the manuscript has to follow within a certain time frame.
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Spelling and Grammar
When submitting a query letter to agents, ensure that all spelling and grammar issues are resolved. Typos or even shortcuts are a turnoff. Do hire a professional to read your letter!
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Following these tips will help you in landing an agent. Read about all the famous authors who were rejected, but, it was their persistence that paid off in the long run.  Get lots of tips from literary agents here.  Consider not only to submit your manuscript to publishing houses, but to author-publish it, in order to earn more and if successfully, agents and publishers will approach YOU!

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $159 for three months! Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/
to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 970 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing
http://www.111publishing.com
http://www.e-Book-PR.com/
http://www.international-ebooks.com/
http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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The Smartest Thing You Can Do Today

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Shark

QueryShark

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“The smartest thing you can do today for your career (other than write)”. This is the motto of an amazing blog that I just discovered:  http://queryshark.blogspot.ca

 

You might have realized when reading my blog that I am a big fan of author-publishing and not very fond of traditional publishers.  But not every author is entrepreneurial-minded or has not yet discovered that publishing houses require authors nowadays to be active on social media and that they have to promote their books themselves.

So, if an author wants to go the traditional route, it should be done professionally to avoid too many rejections and frustration.  QueryShark seems to be a great help in writing pitches to agents or to trade publishers. Interesting tweets from their site:  @QueryShark
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How To Write Query Letters …
or, really, how to revise query letters so they actually work. Read the very detailed directions provided to authors on this site, AFTER you went through their other query critiques first!  QueryShark is entirely volunteer. And no queries are posted unless the writer specifically asks the QueryShark to do so.
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Query Shark critiques fiction queries.
You have to send a query to the shark for it to be considered. There is a checklist for how to do that on the post labeled “If You Want Your Query Posted, Read and FOLLOW These Directions”.

Don’t miss to read all the samples of queries that succeeded. Scroll down and find them on the left site of the QueryShark web page. Great samples of how to hook the interest of an agent or a traditional publisher and lots to learn from.  

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More on how to write a query letter – or not:

10 Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Query Letter

Anatomy of a Query Letter

How to Write a Query Letter

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book heavily promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only a “token” of $1 / day for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/seminar

Please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 770 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

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Posted by on June 5, 2013 in Agents

 

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Pitching your new book

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Let your potential publisher know how you plan to get your name out there.

  • Will you do book signings, contests, chats, online signings, book club readings or placement into independent bookstores.
  • Do you have a website? And / or a blog?
  • Do you participate in Twitter and Facebook?
  • Do you have any special groups that you know, who would be interested in this type of book?

This is called a promotional plan and a platform and more and more publishers require it. But in any way, it is always an asset. There are also a number of things that you should not do when submitting a manuscript:

  • Never send a manuscript without a query letter or synopsis. Publishers like to get an idea of what the story is about before plunging into a novel.
  • Make sure that the publishers guidelines are followed to the letter.
  • If the publisher specifies that all submissions should be double spaced in Times or New Roman font, save it as an RTF file. Do not send something that is single spaced in a gothic font, saved as a PDF.
  • Do not tell the publisher how wonderful your work is, or how much you think he or she will enjoy it. Stick strictly to the facts.
  • Do not write the publisher over and over again asking if they have yet read your manuscript.  Most publishers will list an average response time. Only after that time has passed should you contact the publisher for an update.
  • Make sure that your document is appropriately labelled with your name, pen name, title of the book, word count and your email address. When manuscripts are sent by email, your document is often saved in another location. This manuscript could quite possibly be passed to various staff within the company in order to find the line that best fits your title. If there is no identifying information on the Manuscript itself, a publisher cannot respond to you.

When you are submitting your work, remember to be professional, be kind, be respectful and be patient. The publisher is working hard to review works and put out the best quality pieces to our public.  As an author, it is your job to follow some simple guidelines when submitting a manuscript in order to allow the process to go smoothly and your work to be accepted.

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