How to Focus Your Search for a Literary Agent

Finding a literary agent can be one of the most difficult steps for writers that want to be traditionally published. Agents receive thousands of query letters and don't have time to thoroughly review all submissions. One way to increase your chances of having your submission reviewed is to make sure the agent is a good fit for your genre or book topic. When author and writing instructor Christina Hoag set out to find an agent for her first novel, she cold queried over 100 agents. She was fortunate to land an agent, but realized there was a more efficient way to approach the process. When she was ready to acquire a second agent, Hoag did her research and looked at the "Acknowledgements" pages at the end of books that were similar to hers, so that she could see which agents represented these authors. She also attended writer's conferences to meet with literary agents face-to-face. These efforts helped narrow her search and made the process more manageable.

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