Today’s tip, Nine Ways to Find the Agent You Need, is adapted from Michael Larsen’s must-have writing resource, How to Write a Book Proposal. If you want to hear more from Michael Larsen, please come to the Write Now! Mastermind class tomorrow, February 22 at 12:00 PM CST. If you’re interested in attending, you can sign up on the Write Now! Mastermind page. Larsen will be speaking to us about Context, Character, and Connection: The 3 Keys to Becoming a Successful Writer in a Bottom-Up World. I won’t be posting this recording, so I hope you can make the call! Enjoy and happy writing, Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach
Finding agents is easier than ever. Here are nine ways to do it:
1. Your writing community: Writers and other publishing pros can recommend agents.
2. The Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR): The 450 agents in AAR are the best source of experienced, reputable agents. Members are required to follow the AAR’s code of ethics. The directories talked about in number five below indicate when an agent is a member. aaronline.org
3. The Web: Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, other social media, Google, agents’ websites, databases such as publishersmarketplace.com, agentresearch.com, firstwriter.com, authorlink.com, and agentquery.com.
4. Writers’ organizations: They’re listed online and in Literary Market Place.
5. Literary events: Writing classes, readings, lectures, seminars, book signings, conferences, and book festivals present opportunities to meet and learn about agents.
6. Directories: Jeff Herman’s Insider’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, and Literary Agents; Guide to Literary Agents; Literary Marketplace (LMP). Directories vary in the kind and amount of information they provide, so check what several of them list about the same agency.
7. Magazines: Publishers Weekly, The Writer Magazine, Writer’s Digest, and Poets & Writers have articles by and about agents. If you don’t want to splurge on a subscription to Publishers Weekly, read it at the library. There’s a free condensation of it available at publishersweekley.com.
8. Books: Check the dedication and acknowledgment pages of books like yours.
9. Your platform: Let agents find you—be visible online and off, get published and give talks, publicize your work and yourself. When you’re visible enough, agents will find you.
Adapted from How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen. Michael Larsen and his wife and partner Elizabeth Pomada worked in publishing in New York before moving to San Francisco in 1970 and starting Larsen-Pomada Literary Agents in 1972. They are members of the Association of Authors’ Representatives and have sold hundreds of books to more than 100 publishers and imprints. Mike is the author of How to Write a Book Proposal, which has sold more than 100,000 copies. He also wrote How to Get a Literary Agent, now in its third edition, and is coauthor of the second edition of Guerrilla Marketing for Writers: 100 Weapons for Selling Your Work. Mike and Elizabeth are co-founders of the San Francisco Writers Conference and the San Francisco Writers University. He also has an editing and consulting service for nonfiction writers he can’t help as an agent. You can find Michael Larsen online at www.larsenpomada.com