How To Find an Agent

If you are interested in writing books, it is important to find a good agent. You can try to market your book by yourself, but many publishers will not deal directly with the writer. They prefer working with a professional agent.  An agent will handle all of the business aspects of getting your book published--such as dealing with the publishers, marketing, maintaining the rights of your book, and the contract with your publisher--so that you can concentrate on your writing. It may take some time to find your agent; here are several ways to find the perfect one for you.

  1. Ask a published writer.  If you know someone who has published her work, ask her who represents her.  See if she is satisfied with her agent and if she is, ask for that agent's contact information. The agent may or may not be accepting new clients. If the agent is not accepting new clients, she might be able to recommend another agent who is.

  • Use the Internet and online databases.  There are many agents who can be found on the Internet or who are listed on online databases.  Anyone can call themselves an agent, so it is important to check out an agent's background.  Call her and ask for references, and make sure that she is a member of the Association of Authors' Representatives.  This not-for-profit organization has a strict code of ethics for its members to follow to protect authors from frauds.

  • Writer's Market and Literary Market Place.  Both of these books have annual volumes that list agents.  You can find agents who represent other authors who write in the same genre that you do and they will list their most recent clients and sales. You can order these books from the Internet and each has its own website.
  • Be Wary Finding an agent is a very important part of publishing your book.  Try to stay clear of scam artists who promise big results, but never deliver. Never pay money to an agent upfront.  They get paid when you do, usually 10% to 15% of what you will make off your book.  Also be wary of an agent who has contacted you (reputable agents aren't that desperate) or one who won't give you references such as a list of their clients and the books that they have represented. Always make sure that you have a contract and that the contract has no time limits.
  • Hopefully with a little time and research, you will find the agent who is perfect for you and you'll be on your way to literary success. 


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