Literary agents: who they are, what they do, and how to find them

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Publishing Deal and Literary Agents

What is a literary agent for? Here are 9 articles all about literary agents and what they do for you

Think about this: nearly half a million books are being self-published every year. Now think about the fact that there’re only a handful of major publishers left. Do some quick math and you’ll see why those publishers, when scouting for new titles to release, don’t really want to work directly with authors. They’d be swamped (even more than they are already).

So if you want a big publisher to put out your next book, you’d be wise to try to find a literary agent first.

But what is a literary agent? What do they do? How do you find them — and most importantly, how do you impress them with your manuscript? If you’re asking these questions, check out the articles below:

1. What do literary agents do?

2. Ten things literary agents don’t do for authors

3. How to find a literary agent

4. What are literary agents looking for in your manuscript?

5. Literary Agents, Query Letters, And Book Proposals

6. How literary agents’ responsibilities and compensation are changing

7. Pitching your book to an agent at a writer’s conference

8. Fifteen attributes of an effective query letter

9. How to write a query letter that works

Have you worked with an agent? How did you find them? What was it like working with them? Let me know in the comments below.

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Chris Robley is an award-winning poet, songwriter, performer, and music producer who now lives in Portland, Maine after more than a decade in Portland, Oregon. His music has been praised by NPR, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, and others. Skyscraper Magazine said he is “one of the best short-story musicians to come along in quite some time.” Robley’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in POETRY, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Beloit Poetry Journal, RHINO, Magma Poetry, and more. He is the 2013 winner of Boulevard's Poetry Prize for Emerging Writers and the 2014 recipient of a Maine Literary Award in the category of "Short Works Poetry."

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