Tag Archives: terry whalin

No Secrets – Tips from Literary Agents

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Going through a couple of literary agent’s blogs, they generally all write the same:

“The problem is that most publishers will not review unsolicited proposals or manuscripts. They receive thousands every year and simply don’t have the resources to review all of them. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.”

As an author, what can you do? In a nutshell, here are some agents advises:

  1. Read blogs written by literary agents. You can get some incredibly helpful advice and straight-talk from people who pitch proposals for a living. Read their useful blogs: Terry WhalinRachelle Gardner, Meredith Barnes or Andy Ross.
  2. Educate yourself. If you want to publish with a general market publisher, read 2012 Writer’s Market by Robert Lee Brewer for writer’s guidelines and submission procedures for publishing houses.
  3. Write a killer book proposal. If you want to write (or have written) a book, get these e-books to find out what publishers want in a proposal:
    – Writing a Winning Non-Fiction Book Proposal
    – Writing a Winning Fiction Book Proposal.
  4. Let someone professional review your proposal, such a friend who teaches English or is a professional editor, ask them to review your proposal.
  5. Find a literary agent to represent you. This is usually the only way to get in the door with a publishing company – at least in the USA. Canada and Europe are different stories. Literary agents do the filtering. If you want a list of general market agents, get the 2013 Guide to Literary Agents, and study carefully their requirements.
  6. Get a professional avatar, a good photo is only a tiny investment – and you need it for your book / website / social media presence etc. anyway.

Must-Read Blog to learn more about agents and how to approach them

How Agents work and How to work with Agents

What Literary Agents Want to Know From You

100′s of Links to Publishers and Agents

Which Literary Agent is Right for You?


I am just wondering if all these time and money investments are paying off, as it can take years until your work is published – if at all. Judging a book is not always an objective process. Read more about this in my next post: 77 Reasons why your book was rejected

Investing in a good editor, hiring a professional book designer / e-book formatting company, spending time to market your work and selling it as an e-book or print POD might well be as profitable (if not better) than to go through all the hassle and time waste with commercial publishing houses.




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:

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