When I started writing, I thought agents were a thing of the past with the booming of self-publishing. Last year, however, a friend and fellow writer asked me to help her get an agent for her latest manuscript. I put her in contact with one but, unfortunately, their phone conversation led nowhere. She never told me what they discussed or why her manuscript was not considered. Do we have to do back flips in order for an agent to love our MS the way we do? According to Agent Tina Wexler there are some things you can do to help yourself get noticed. In an article I found, Ms. Wexler provides these great tips:
1. Write a really amazing query. Take your time, try describing your work multiple ways until you find the best approach, read successful queries online and have as many people as possible read yours so that you’re certain it makes sense and is a shiny apple.
2. Demonstrate knowledge of an agent's list. This doesn’t mean you have to read every book they’ve ever sold, but by showing them you know a bit about who they represent, you’re telling agents you’ve done your research on who to query.
3. Do your research on who to query. Period.
4. Write a really amazing manuscript. Take your time, put your work through multiple revisions, read published works in your genre, and consider joining a critique group or finding a writing partner whom you trust who can help make your manuscript a shiny apple.
5. Be nice. Agents, like most everyone, want to work with people who are personable. This does not, however, mean “Fawn over the agent” or “Send a bushel of apples to the agent.”
6. Ask questions. Be a part of the conversation. Agents want critical thinkers who take this getting-published thing seriously. There’s plenty of fun to be had, but remember, this is a business, not a hobby or a get-rich-quick scheme. Agents want hard workers, writers dedicated to their craft who view getting published as the first step of a long journey, writers whom they will want to be with on that journey.
Do you have an agent? How hard/easy was for you to get one? Any tips for my readers?