Do You Need a Literary Agent for Your Self-Published Book?

Self-published authors who want wider distribution for their book turn to literary agents for help. Literary agents are a great resource for connecting traditional book publishers to new authors.

Since literary agents know exactly what they are looking for in a manuscript, they will pass on representing authors with unpolished, incomplete, and lackluster manuscripts. 

If you have self-published your book and want to be represented by a literary agent, here are 10 things to do before submitting your manuscript:

1. Make sure you complete your manuscript. Agents will not help you finish your work.

2. Make sure your manuscript has gone through multiple edits.

3. Know your genre. Identify the category of your manuscript. Specific agents accept manuscripts from specific genres. 

4. Choose the agent best suited for your manuscript. Do not send a romantic novel to an agent who only accepts science fiction. 

5. Read a literary agency’s submission requirements thoroughly. Most agencies will not consider manuscripts from authors who do not follow the rules. 

6. Write an engaging query letter that makes the agent want to read your manuscript. 

7. Prepare a synopsis of your work. Agents use a synopsis to gauge interest in your work. An agency may ask for a synopsis ranging anywhere from 500 words to two pages. 

8. Do not submit your entire manuscript unless an agent asks. 

9. Do not submit a query to multiple agents at one agency simultaneously. An agent who rejects a manuscript may pass it on to another agent in the office. If you do not hear from any of the agents, then that means the agency is not interested in your work.

10. Do not contact an agent after you submit your work. Agents contact authors if they are interested in a manuscript.

Also, remember that agents look at your online presence. So, make sure you have your author’s website and social media platforms up to date. 

If you need help with editing or formatting your manuscript, can help you. For more information, contact us today at or call 734-975-0028.

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