In today’s climate, more of us are working on books than ever before. Whether you’re a normal remote worker, or a business owner looking to diversify, there’s a lot of us putting our thoughts, experiences, and stories down in print right now. Unfortunately, you already know you need a literary agent to approach any of the biggest publishers on the market.
A literary agent represents you and takes care of all the fine details regarding your contract. An agent also handles a lot of the heavy lifting regarding the business side of your career.
But how do you get a literary agent?
That question doesn’t have an easy answer, unfortunately. However, there are some things you can do as an author to catch a literary agent’s eye. Before we get to those, though, you might find these 9 Work-From-Home Productivity Tips as well as The Most Common Remote Work Challenges and How To Get Past Them useful for actually reaching the end of that manuscript.
Tips to Attract a Literary Agent to Your Work
Tip #1: Be Professional
This sounds obvious, but the best solutions often are. There are a lot of hopefuls out there, and all of them are trying to get a literary agent’s attention. According to Writer’s Digest, you need to put on your professional hat and make sure you’re following the rules.
What does that mean, exactly? Well it includes things like:
- Follow all the submission and query guidelines the literary agent puts forth.
- Maintain a serious, professional tone in your communications. This is not the time to try being funny.
- Don’t be overly gushy or emotional. You’re looking for a business partner, not a soulmate.
Literary agents want clients they can work with so that both of you can make money. Show them you came to play, and they’re a lot more likely to respond to you.
Tip #2: Write About What’s Trending
If figuring out what the next big trend was going to be was easy, then no one would ever have a problem sticking the landing when it comes to their books. However, if you pay attention to the kinds of books that become consistently popular, then you will often be able to get positive attention by making something that fits into that mold.
For example, a survivor’s story that ties in with the #MeToo movement is something that has a great deal of potential. It would get a lot of attention both from agents and from the general public. Alternatively, say that your science fiction novel tackled some of the difficulties faced by transgender people, using the lens of genre fiction as a way to address a topic that society has been visibly struggling with.
If a particular market is already saturated with a given topic (for example, the slew of vampire fiction that came out in the wake of Anne Rice’s books or the Twilight series) then you probably won’t stand out… and standing out is what you want!
Tip #3: Build Your Platform
When a literary agent looks at your manuscript, they’re also going to look at you. They want to see if you have a platform. They also want to know how active your followers are, and if you have already laid the groundwork for getting a novel to move copies. And if you’ve written books in the past, even if those books were self-published or not considered big commercial successes, then that makes you immediately more attractive to literary agents, according to Writers and Artists.
There are a lot of ways you can build your platform, and get your name out there. Posting free short stories, for example, can net you a lot of traffic on a blog or fiction site. Hosting giveaways on your website, or running a blog that draws a lot of eyes from regular readers, also makes you look more appealing.
You don’t have to be famous. But you need a soapbox to stand on when it’s time to tell the world about your upcoming release.
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