That seems to be the battle cry of most writers. But, you want to know a secret? You don’t need an agent!
Agents are great!. They locate the best publisher for your book and negotiate good contracts.
However, agents are difficult to acquire. They seek celebrities, professional experts, and those with an established platform or proven track record. A first time author with little or no background experience will have a tough time finding an agent.
The best advice I ever received on the matter was from author p.m. terrell. (Who does in fact have an agent.) “Find a small to mid-sized publisher first, put out a couple successful books, and you will have a much better chance finding an agent.”
Wow! You mean I don’t need an agent?
There are over 100,000 publishers in the USA alone. With the exception of the six big boys in New York City and other large publishers, most take direct submissions without an agent. We’re talking well over 80,000 publishers here!
How do I find these publishers? A Google search of “publisher - your genre” will turn up numerous companies. Other website resources -
Every Writers Resource
The ones who accept direct submissions will have submission guidelines on their website. These will state what each editor is seeking and what is needed in terms of query letter, synopsis, outline, etc.
Make a list (the bigger the better) of the publishers who are currently accepting your genre. Cross-reference each one on Preditors and Editors . Now you are ready to begin the query process!
If you are just beginning or querying agents has beaten you down, start querying publishers. Keep sending out queries to agents, but focus on those publishers. You will increase your chances of success tenfold in the process!
The Query series will continue next week…