The 2012 Guide to Literary Agents is out, and I have a chapter in it! It's called "Researching Agents," and I used every bit of that advice to find my own.(It's the best chapter in the book, y'all.)
So I'm kicking the week with a book on agents. But what if you aren't sure you even want an agent? Then you need this book all the more, especially the chapter "What an Agent Does." Learn what to look for in an agent in "Accessing Credibility." Learn where to find them (and get your foot in the door) in "Avenues to an Agent." Then you get down and dirty and REALLY learn how to draft that elusive query in, what else, "Crafting a Query".
But a cool chapter is "How Not to Start Your Book," with advice from a long list of agents. They draw from what they see each day, and tell you what NOT to do. That's gold-plated advice you can get without spending a fortune for a conference.
Then there's a chapter on "Agents and Self-Publishing." Will they represent your self-pubbed book? What do they consider a "good" self-pubbed book, and what's considered a bomb? Learn whether the stigma of self-publishing applies anymore. Did you know that good sales of your book could be the soul catalyst to opening a door to some agents?"
And then there's a section on the true meaning of copyright--when and how you should protect yourself. Then subsequently in the book, learn how to pitch a screenplay.
Finally, you'll find hundreds of literary agencies to include their addresses, emails, websites, genres they represent, query suggestions, payment terms, recent success stories, and tips on how to get their attention.Didn't I say this was a bible? Well, now I have.
I'm an agent advocate. These folks carry you across the rapids when you didn't even know the river was lapping and tugging at your feet, dying to drag you under. You are learning how to write, how to publish, how to market. Why not let them hold your hand through a large part of it? A very important part of it...finding a publisher?
This is the best resource on agents. To prove it, I'm giving away a copy of 2012 Guide to Literary Agents. Just leave a comment below, telling me the craziest thing/myth/gossip you've ever heard about the world of literary agents. Don't know anything juicy? Then mention why you'd love to have this book, how you expect it to jump start your writing career, or land you a six-figure advance, or find your angel of mercy who'll take on your five-book series and sell all of them in a lump contract. Just let me know why you'd like to win. A winner will be chosen randomly. Deadline is NOON, Friday, September 23. I'll email the winner (assuming you leave an email address when you comment) and ask for his/her address.
Cathy C. Hall won the drawing for the 2012 Guide to Literary Agents. Go Cathy!