Traditional Publishing

5 Tips on Finding a Literary Agent For the Book You've Written – Monday May 22, 2023

When I teach my Intro to Fiction Writing class at Closing Credits, I always start by telling students what to expect in the world of publishing. There’s not much point in writing a book if you don’t know what you’re going to do with it. Inevitably, we end up talking about agents, the gatekeepers of traditional publishing. Here are some tips I hand out.

Figure Out If You Really Need an Agent

I don’t mean “ go straight to the publishers.” They will throw your work in the trash. I mean, is your work better suited for self-release?

The example I always use is Chuck Tingle. There was always a market for weirdly-worded dinosaur erotica with badly-photoshopped covers and overt political commentary, but no agent was ever going to be able to sell that. The industry is focused on a handful of surefire moneymakers. It turns on a $100 bill, not a dime.

If your work is particularly weird or off the beaten path, you may be better off investing in yourself. Agents are for market-ready works.

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