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5 things to know about literary agents

Literary agent need-to-knows 

Literary agents are a rare, elusive sort. To find one, it helps to be able to think like one – to know their likes and dislikes; habits and habitats. This newsletter is your guide to finding yours in the wild world of the slushpile – and how to capture their attention.  

WEBINAR: Hope, death and clarity – how to use themes to finish your novel (Member exclusive) 

28 January. Join superstar author Patrice Lawrence for this special webinar on themes. This is one of my personal must-watch-webinars on a subject that’s saved my own novels a thousand times – with a tutor who comes highly recommended!  



This week at Jericho Writers:

REPLAY: Things to know about literary agents – US (Member exclusive) 

Missed last week’s webinar from Linda Camacho? Members can catch up now to learn how to figure out which agents to query, get their attention and work with them once you do.  



BLOG: How to find a literary agent 

Read our comprehensive article on how to find, submit to and land a literary agent. It’s a beast of a read, but well worth the time if you’re submitting.  


COURSE: Ask the industry: Your proudest moment (Member exclusive) 

Part of the Getting Published Video course, this short film asks literary agents what they’re proudest of. A wonderful insight into what sparks passion in agents.  



5 things to know about agents 

1) They are avid readers. Non-readers need not apply to be a literary agent. Any agent you submit to LOVES books. They open your submission wanting to find a read they can’t put down. 

2) They are real human beings. This one is obvious, but easy to forget when finding an agent is so difficult. It’s important to remember in your submission though, and – as with all people – a bit of genuine thoughtfulness, kindness and professional humour goes a long way in an email.  

3) They often read submissions in their spare time. Important to know for two reasons: a) because they’ll possibly be tired or distracted, which is why it’s so important to have a clear, exciting pitch. And b) because they’ll possibly be reading your submission on an eReader or tablet. Pay attention to your file names (keep them simple and descriptive), and don’t include special images, characters or fonts unless it’s integral to the story. 

4) They make their money by making you money. If they reject your submission, it’s because they can’t see a way that they can make a return on their investment. It's not personal (although it’ll most certainly feel like it). For them – it's a livelihood.  

5) They all talk to each other. If you’re thinking of being rude to an agent – think again. Literary agents do talk – and not just within agencies, either.  

What five things have you learned about agents? Sign up for free and share them in the Townhouse community here.  

Sarah x 

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