What steps to take to get an agent
Posted 10 October 2017 - 02:07 PM
Step 1: Write a novel.
Step 2: Research the selling potential of your genre, word count, etc. Make sure there is a market for the sort of book you've written. This will also help you to choose good comparison books for step 4.
Step 3: Edit, give to beta readers, re-edit, give to more readers, then edit some more based on feedback. Beta readers can be found using the want ad section of this forum.
Step 4: Once you're sure it's properly edited, well flushed out of plot holes, awkward sentences, etc, you'll write a query letter. Research on query letters also has a spot on this forum. You'll go through the editing, re-editing, process again until you feel this is the best it can be.
Step 5: Once your query letter is finished, you'll begin the same process again, but this time with a synopsis. You'll most likely write two different synopses as some agents want a short one (700 words or so), and other request long ones (a couple sentences for each chapter's summary)
Step 6: Research agents. AQConnect has a wonderful database, along with QueryTracker, and Publishersmarketplace just to name a few resources. You'll dig through hundreds of profiles searching for agents who represent your genre and age range, and also have represented similar books to yours in the past. Depending on your book this could be hundreds of possible candidates or just a few.
Step 7: Based on the submission guidelines you'll begin submitting your query letter, synopsis, sample chapters, etc to agents and publishers. It's common courtesy to send out queries in small batches of 5-10, and waiting for responses before moving on to submit more. Each agent can take anywhere from an hour to eight weeks to respond to your query. So, take this time to begin work on a new project.
Step 8: Agents will respond typically with a partial or full manuscript request if your query letter and sample pages are what they are looking for. They'll then read through and either reject the manuscript, or offer you representation.
However, this is only half of the battle. Once you've gained an agent they'll still need to 'query' your book to publishers which in a way restarts the entire process over again.
Hope this helps!
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