Are You Looking for A Literary Agent?

charlestonandtheemergenceofmiddleclasscultureintherevolutionaryamericaIn October 2016, Jennifer Goloboy, an independent scholar and literary agent, visited The Author’s Corner to talk about her book Charleston and the Emergence of Middle-Class Culture in the Revolutionary Era.

And yesterday The Junto published her post “Finding an Agent.”

Here is a taste:

As an agent and historian, I’m here to explain the process of finding an agent. Don’t worry—you can do this!

Before you initiate contact with agents, you need to collect the materials that an agent will likely request. If you’ve written a novel, you need to have the manuscript completely finished. Many agents will also want to read a synopsis of the novel. On the other hand, if you’ve written a work of non-fiction, all you’ll need are a book proposal and the first three chapters. The book proposal will compare your book to other books in the field, explain your plans for marketing the book, and outline the full manuscript. (You might consider writing a proposal for your novel, too—it never hurts to have a well-thought-out plan for publicizing your book.)

Then you need to write a query letter, which is the standard letter that you’ll send to all the agents who interest you. The information I particularly need to see is

  • The genre of the book, and its length (if unfinished, its projected length)
  • What the book is about.  
  • Your bio, with a focus on why you’re qualified to write this book.

Remember, the goal in this letter is to entice an agent to request more material from you. You don’t need to explain the entire book.  

Read the entire post here.