What You Should Submit to a Literary Agent

A Guide for Book Writers

Introduction

As a book writer, you are well aware of the importance of finding a literary agent who will help you publish your work. However, before you start submitting your work to literary agents, it is crucial to understand what they are looking for and what you should include in your submission. This article will provide you with a guide on what you should submit to a literary agent, and how to make the most of your submission.

A Query Letter

The query letter is your first opportunity to make an impression on a literary agent. It is a brief letter that introduces you, your book, and your writing style. The query letter should be concise, well-written, and free of errors. It should be no longer than one page and should include the following elements:

  • Your name and contact information
  • A brief introduction to your book, including its title, genre, and word count
  • A brief overview of your writing experience and any previous publications
  • A hook that will grab the agent’s attention and make them want to read more
  • A request for representation
  • A closing and a polite thank you for their time.

A Synopsis

A synopsis is a brief summary of your book that provides an overview of the story, the characters, and the main events. The synopsis should be no more than two pages and should include the following elements:

  • The beginning of the story, including the setup and introduction of the main characters
  • The climax of the story and the resolution of the conflict
  • A brief conclusion that provides a resolution to the story and ties up loose ends

The purpose of the synopsis is to give the literary agent a general idea of your book and its potential. It should give a concise summary of the tale, characters, and main events and be entertaining and compelling. The synopsis should also provide an understanding of the tone, style, and genre of your book, and should give the literary agent an idea of the market potential for your work.

It is important to remember that the synopsis should be written in a way that is easy to understand and free of spoilers. Additionally, the synopsis should be well-written, free of errors, and should demonstrate your writing skills. A well-written synopsis can help you stand out from other book writers and make you more attractive to book publishing agents.

A Sample Chapter

Including a sample chapter with your submission to a literary agent is a crucial step in the process. This allows the literary agent to get a sense of your writing style, the tone and pacing of your book, and the quality of your storytelling. The sample chapter should be a well-written, polished representation of your work, and should include the following elements:

  • A strong opening that hooks the reader and sets the tone for the book
  • Well-developed characters and a compelling story
  • Good pacing and flow, with clear and concise writing
  • A strong conclusion that leaves the reader wanting more

The sample chapter is a crucial part of your submission, as it provides a representative sample of your writing style and the overall tone of your book. To effectively showcase your book, it should be between 10 and 20 pages long.

Selecting the right sample chapter is a crucial step in submitting your book to a literary agent. It is important to choose a chapter that highlights the best aspects of your book and gives the literary agent a clear understanding of what your book is about and how it differentiates from other books in the same genre.

Furthermore, the sample chapter should effectively demonstrate your writing skills, your ability to craft a compelling story, and your ability to engage and entertain the reader. By submitting a well-written and polished sample chapter, you increase your chances of catching the attention of the literary agent and making a lasting positive impression. Ultimately, the right sample chapter can be a key factor in securing representation and getting your book published.

Your Writing Platform

Your writing platform refers to the visibility and reach of your writing and your ability to engage with readers. It is important to build a strong writing platform because it shows literary agents that you are committed to your craft and that you have the ability to reach and engage with readers. A strong writing platform includes the following elements:

  • A strong online presence, including a website or blog
  • An active social media presence, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
  • A mailing list of subscribers who are interested in your writing and updates about your book
  • A published author or writing-related blog or article in a reputable publication
  • Speaking engagements, workshops, or book signings that demonstrate your commitment to your craft

Having a strong writing platform shows literary agents that you have a track record of engaging with readers and that you have the ability to build a following. If your book targets a specific market or demographic, this shows you can reach and engage with them.

It is important to continually work on building your writing platform, as it is an ongoing process. This may include blogging regularly, engaging with followers on social media, and attending writing conferences and events. By building a strong writing platform, you increase your chances of getting noticed by literary agents and publishers and help increase the visibility and success of your book.

A Comparable Book

Your book’s genre, style, and market are comparable, and including a comparable book in your submission can greatly aid literary agents in comprehending your book’s market position and intended audience. The comparable book should be well-known and popular, similar to your work in topic, style, and readership, for maximum impact.¬†Furthermore, it should be a bestseller and well-reviewed book, demonstrating its success in the market.

Including a comparable book and a brief explanation of how your novel is similar and different can help the literary agent understand your book’s strengths. By highlighting these similarities and differences, you increase your chances of being discovered. Additionally, it is important to choose a market-relevant and well-known book as your comparable book. This can assist literary agencies and publishers in noticing your book and ultimately increase its success.

A Professional Manuscript Format

It is essential to present your book in a professional manuscript format that is easy to read and free of errors. A well-formatted manuscript demonstrates your commitment to your craft and makes it easier for the agent to read and evaluate your work. Some of the key elements of a professional manuscript format include:

  • A font size of 12 points and a font style that is easy to read
  • Double-spaced text with 1-inch margins on all sides
  • A header or footer that includes your name, the title of your book, and the page number
  • Proper use of punctuation, grammar, and spelling

A Cover Letter

A cover letter is a brief letter that provides additional information about your book and why you believe it would be a good fit for the literary agent. The cover letter should be concise, well-written, and free of errors. It should be no longer than one page and should include the following elements:

  • Your name and contact information
  • A brief introduction to your book, including its title, genre, and word count
  • A statement of why you believe your book would be a good fit for the literary agent
  • A brief overview of your writing experience and any previous publications
  • A request for representation
  • A closing and a polite thank you for their time.

The cover letter lets you explain why the literary agent should accept your book. To effectively tailor your cover letter, it is important to research the literary agent and their clients beforehand. In addition, showing your love for writing in the cover letter might make you more appealing to literary agencies.

Read more..