"What is the best way to get a book published these days"
"Find a good agent."
Following are some websites with good sound advice for finding a
literary agent to help you get your book published. I've copied and
pasted relevant sections but please click on the links to read full
details and find more links.
ABCs of Publishing: About Agents
"While there's no Golden Rule to "Being Published"; it appears the
only way to get your foot in the door is to have a respected literary
agent hold it open. (I can't count the number of times my toes, and my
ego, have been smashed.) Most of the large NY publishing houses don't
accept unagented queries, and those that do will assign assistant
editors to muck through the slush pile. A good literary agent has
spent years in the publishing business, building relationships with
editors, studying the market, knowing what editors are looking for and
which publishers specialize in specific markets or genres. They will
be your guide and your advocate to the publishing world."...
"Do you still wonder whether or not you need an agent? I guess the
question to you would be: "Do you want to be a writer, or do you want
to be an agent?" Lisle offers the final bit of advice on the subject:
'Good agents do much more than find homes for manuscripts. If he (or
she) did nothing more for you than remove bad clauses from contracts,
the agent would be worth his ten or fifteen percent.'"
Hunting for a Literary Agent: Which to Keep and Which to Shoot
1. What is an agent and why do I need one?
"An agent is a writer's business representative. His job is to market
your book, negotiate a deal with the publisher, keep track of rights
sold, and generally handle the business end of things so that the
author can concentrate on writing...."
- A good agent knows what editors are looking for.
- Many publishers don't accept unagented submissions.
2. When do I need an agent?
3. How are agents paid?
4. Where to I find information about agents?
5. How do I choose an agent?
6. How do I contact an agent?
7. How do I create an outline and sample chapters?
8. What happens if I don't get an agent?
The Safest Way to Search for an Agent
1. Begin with a couple of good market guides.
2. Use the information in the guides to make a list of agents who
are appropriate for your work.
3. Expand your list by picking books you think resemble yours,
and finding out who agents them.
4. Obtain the membership roster of the Association of Authors'
Representatives (US) or the Association of Authors' Agents (UK).
5. Place a question mark beside any agent who isn't a member.
6. For agents with a question mark, do any or all of the following:
* E-mail me... I'll go through Writer Beware's complaint
archives, and let you know what I find.
* Check the agent listings at Preditors & Editors....
* For US writers: use Agent Research & Evaluation's free agent
7. Some additional recommendations:
* Don't use the Internet as your primary source of information...
* Learn the warning signs of a questionable agent...
* Read trade publications. Knowledge is your best defense..
11 Ways to Find the Agent or Publisher You Need
1. Your Networks
2. The Association of Authors' Representatives (AAR)
3. Writer's Organizations
4. The World Wide Web
6. A newsletter
7. Literary events
9. Publishers' catalogs
11. The media you get
Common Questions Writers Ask Me About Literary Agents by Jeff Herman:
Q: Is it more difficult to get an agent than it is to get a publisher?
A: I believe it's substantially easier to get an agent than it is to
get a publisher...
Q: Is there anything I can do to improve my odds of getting an agent?
Q: Should I query only one agent at a time?
A: Some of my colleagues disagree with me here, but I recommend
querying five to ten agents simultaneously, unless you already have
your foot in the door with one...
Q: How do I know if my agent is working for me? When might it be time
to change agents?
A: As I explained earlier, agents don't necessarily sell everything
they represent, no matter how persistent and assertive they may be...
Targeting Agents by Ethan Ellenberg
The Association of Authors' Representatives
"Welcome to the online home of the Association of Authors'
Representatives, Inc. (AAR), a not-for-profit organization of
independent literary and dramatic agents."
SoYouWanna write a query letter to a literary agent?
Hunting for an Agent (with Sample Synopsis)
"Never, under any circumstances whatsoever, pay money to an agent."
Literary Agents: Writer Beware
Twenty Tips from Jim Fisher: Beware of agents who...
1) Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors and Literary Agents 2005
2) Writers' and Artists' Yearbook 2005
3) The Writer?s Handbook 2004. Barry Turner (Editor)
4) Literary Agents: What They Do, How They Do It, How to Find Work
with the Right One for You by Michael Larsen
5) Lmp 2005: The Directory of the American Book Publishing Industry
With Industry Yellow Pages
6) 2005 Writers Market by Kathryn S. Brogan (Editor), Robert Lee Brewer (Editor)
7) 2005 Guide to Literary Agents by Kathryn S. Brogan (Editor)
8) 2005 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market by Anne Bowling (Editor),
Michael Schweer (Editor)
9) 2006 Novel & Short Story Writers Market by Lauren Mosko
10) Shortest Distance Between You and a Published Book by Susan Page
Additional Links of Interest:
Writin A Query Letter About Your Novel
Book Marketing and Promotion
I hope I've been able to get you off to a good start. If you have any
questions, please post a clarification request *before* closing/rating
my answer and I'll be happy to reply.
Google Search Terms Used: literary agents