Writing & Selling Your Very Own Book

February 21, 2011  |  

II. Using a Literary Agent

The second option, using a traditional publishing house, takes care of most of the marketing and publicity and any initial expenses to sell your book, but it’s slightly more complicated to achieve.

1) First, it would be recommended that you get a literary agent, if you choose this option. Literary agents have strong connections to editors and publishing houses, and they can represent your book to those houses. You can find a literary agent several ways:

– You can look through books that are similar to yours, and find out which agent represented that book (you can usually find this information in the ‘Acknowledgments’ section).

– Another way to find an agent is to use Writer’s Market (Writer’s Market is a bible for writers, which comes in book form, or you can use their website: http://www.writersmarket.com, which is a little more convenient).

2) Once you’ve narrowed down which agents you’re interested in pitching, you would need to send them a well-written query letter asking if they would like to see a proposal for your book. You’ll get a ton of rejections, but if you do the research and target the right agents, i.e. agents that specialize in your content type, you might get a positive response, asking you to send your book proposal.

3) Once you send the agent your book proposal, the agent will either reject, accept, or ask for some revisions before acceptance. If accepted, the agent will sign you to his/her literary agency and help get your book published by a sizable publishing house. You would receive a book editor, and a money advance to perfect the book, once you sign with the publisher (this editing process could take several months to over a year). Then, after the book is finalized, it could take another year to publish.

NOTE ABOUT AGENTS: If you choose this option, remember that legitimate agents never charge a fee for representation, and are usually members of AAR. You must ensure that any agents with whom you deal, have these two qualities.

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