You’ve written a brilliant work of art but can’t get a publisher to look at it? That’s probably because you don’t have a literary agent. Most publishers will not look at a writers work if they are not represented by a literary agent better known as the middle man. Publishers believe literary agents are very important mainly because their job is to filter out potentially good writers from the not so good. This saves the publisher a very precious commodity which is time. Numerous submissions are being sent to publishing houses of promising hopefuls and unfortunately they will never be seen or even considered. That is why a literary agent is vital to getting your foot to the door.
There are different agents who handle different genre’s. Learn which one of the genre your work is under before starting your hunt for an agent. Remember that agents just like publishing houses receive numerous submissions on a daily basis so make your work worthy of reading. How do you do that you say? well first you need to make sure your work has been professionally edited. I can not stress the importance of handing in an edited manuscript. This will instantly knock out most of your competition. No one wants to read work that has lots of grammatical errors or missing periods and tons of spelling errors. Fixing those problems before submitting your work will let the agent know that you are serious about your craft and will take your work seriously.
Your next step to finding an agent will require a query and a synopsis. Sending a query letter will peak the agents interest and help them to decide if they would like to read a synopsis or manuscript. Query letters need to be catchy without being extremely arrogant. It should tell the agent a brief bio on you the author, it should also give them a quick summary of your story try to make it around one to two paragraphs nothing longer than that. A query letter is usually one page try very hard not to let it go beyond that. A synopsis can be a little more detailed than a query letter because this is where you introduce each character and tell the summarized version of the story from beginning to end. While you want to be careful who you send your work to most agents will not pick a writer who does not include a synopsis with both the beginning and the ending.
The best place to find a literary agent is online. The Internet is a writers friend, it is a wonderful tool for finding literary agents. Type in non-fiction literary agents in a google search engine and check out the results. Your best chances of finding an agent is looking for one in your genre, Sending a query letter asking for permission to send the synopsis and then and only then if they request a full copy of your manuscript do you send it. Never send a whole copy of your manuscript without asking if you can. Mainly because they don’t have the time and if your synopsis peaks enough of their interest do they want to read on.