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Your Literary Agent—How To Get One Fast!

by: Steve Manning

There are a few ways to find and get an agent quickly for your book. In this report I'll deal with the most popular.

To begin with, your book doesn't need to be complete. You could have written only a couple of chapters and have a complete outline of your book and that will do nicely. In fact, agents and publishers almost always take on books before they are completed. They need a couple of chapters to see that you can actually write and they need the entire outline to know what the book will be about.

And, to be even more specific, the two chapters don't have to be the first two of the book. They can be completely random. Again, their purpose is to show the agent or the publisher that you can actually write.

By the way, this technique works for both fiction and non-fiction. Your first step is to get yourself to the local book store and find a handful of books written in the same genre as your own. Thriller, mystery, self-help, carpentry, whatever. Open the books and on one of the first few pages you'll see the name of the publisher of the book and their city location.

Jot down the names of these publishers and the book titles. Then you're off back home.

When you get there, pick up the telephone and call these publishers. If you don't know how to do that, no problem.

In the front of your telephone book there should be a listing of area codes for the cities you're interested. All you have to do is call information for these cities and ask for the telephone numbers of these companies.

You can find them on the internet as well, of course, this is just the old method. You call information by dialing the area code, followed by 555-1212. It's the same number regardless of the area code. Ask for the correct number, jot it down for future reference, and you're on your way.

Now you've got to call the number and start getting that agent.

When the publisher's phone is answered, tell them you're trying to find the person who holds the rights to (name of book) because you want to make a movie of it, or a video training guide, or a work book, create a calendar, or develop an audio program, or whatever else you can think of.

The person who holds the rights to this book will almost always be the agent for the author. Ask for a contact name, number and address if they have it.

Now you have the agent contact information for your. Send each one an agent acquisition letter. This is a simple, one-page letter that sells your book aggressively and tells the agent why you book would be a very big seller. Remember, the letter must convince the agent that your book would be a very big seller. Any sentence, ANY sentence that does not tell the agent why your book will be a big seller should be removed from that sales letter.

The agent is not really interested in you (unless you're a celebrity because that means the book will sell more). And, frankly, they don't care how well you write, or your commitment to improving the world. They want to know only why this book would be a best seller and why they'd be out of their (financially greedy) minds not to grab it right away!

One page, that's all. They can make their decision based solely on that. When you're finished writing it, read it over yourself and ask yourself, candidly, does this letter make you want to reach into your own pocket and pay $20,000 to get hold of the rights? If it doesn't, then you've got to make that letter better.

Mail the letters, Remember, just the letters, not the chapters, to all the prospective agents and then start working on your next book or find a few more agents for this one.

Once you've sent off about 20 to 30 letters, you can stop. You've covered all the agents who are significant in this area.

Don't bother following up. If the agent doesn't call you, it means they don't think you book (as you've presented it) is a good bet for success. And it also means your agent acquisition letter was weaker than you thought.

Revise it, re-write it and send it to other agents, and even back to those original agents.

Now, want to get that agent in just hours? No problem. Fax the letter to them. I've had success with this strategy in as little as 6 hours!!

About The Author

Steve Manning is an accomplished writer with more than 20 years of experience under his belt. People from around the world are using his techniques to write their books faster than they ever believed possible. "Listen to this guy. What he has to say is essential if you want to write your book NOW!" --Mark Victor Hansen. Sign up for his free writing course at http://www.WriteABookNow.com/main.html.

This article was posted on December 06, 2005