Tips from Agents about how to get an Agent.

Good morning world. Keeping up with email can be overwhelming; makes me yearn for the days when I only had one… But I can’t imagine my life without. I’d miss out on email like the one I found this morning: Want to land a book deal with a major publisher? Check out this video.

So I did, and I think it’s worth sharing with you: http://www.howtogetaliteraryagent.com/videopage/.

The video is 40 minutes, and I decided I’d take some notes for those of you that didn’t have the time to view (although I think you should if you’re serious about getting an agent). I also think it’s worthwhile to sign up for Steve Harrison’s e-mail list. He has definitely made me think about the publishing world in new ways, and given me some cool ideas.

My notes from the video:

  • Yes it’s true, everything has already been written, but it hasn’t been written in every voice and from every person’s perspective. Your voice, niche, and expertise are what you’re going to capitalize on.
  • In today’s book market, you need to be a writer but think like a marketer. Who is your competition? What is going to grab your reader’s attention? Can you get a quote from a celebrity on the cover of your book? Do you have a corporate sponsor that will promote your book? Do you have media relationships?
  • Before you approach an agent have these things ready:
  1. Query Letter – the hook (e.g. I have the organizing system that Oprah uses.), the cook (I am L.A.’s #1 professional organizer), and the book (I’ll be the first person to tell you how to get your home completely organized in a year). If possible, know the agent you’re sending your letter to, know something about the books they represent, and personalize your letter to them.
  2. Book Proposal (if non-fiction) – short idea summary, overview, outline, chapter breakdown, sample material (at least a couple of chapters), and market research (how are similar books doing? check Amazon rankings, publishers’ websites, etc.). A good resource: http://www.jeffherman.com/perfect-proposal/.
  3. Manuscript (if fiction) – make sure your content is good, compelling, and looks professional.

Well folks, there’s some stuff for you to mull over. The road to becoming a million-dollar author is not an easy one, but I believe it’s worth the trip.

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