Finding The Best Literary Agent

Written by Joy MacKay
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Nearly all publishers are seeking new and fresh writing talent. However, many aspiring authors send submissions and inquiries to publishers, and receive little more than a rejection letter or returned envelope. This is because most publishers will not even peruse your writing unless you are represented by an established literary agent.

Why Representation Is Paramount

When you are obtaining literary representation, you are establishing your credibility in the industry. Your agent vouches for the quality of your work, and your ability. Furthermore, publishers are able to secure legal rights to your writing and intellectual property, and prevent others from claiming you hijacked their ideas. Even when you approach publishers independently, finding the best literary agent is paramount. Your literary agent will increase the chances of cinching a book deal, and will protect your rights and promote your work at levels you never could obtain alone.

Beware of Uncertified Agents

Finding the best literary agent means finding a certified agent. Certified agents and agencies are listed with the Writer's Guild of America (WGA). The WGA has a strict set of guidelines that literary agents must abide by in order to be listed with the organization. These guidelines are for your protection, to avoid the exploitation of your work or reputation.

Uncertified agents are often little more than "get rich quick" schemes. They might offer you instant publication, or publication for a book that is neither marketable nor well published. They might also offer you copies of your own "published" book at extremely high prices. These uncertified agents are often inexperienced, and interested in only profit. While you might find an uncertified agent who is scrupulous, as a rule you will want to seek out registered agents. Finding the best literary agent is not an instant process, but by ruling out shady representation, you are securing your future and the rights of your work against possible detriment.


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