Are you starting the process of finding a literary agent for your fiction or non-fiction manuscript? Submitting to agents requires finding them, locating their contact information and what they require in their submission packages and submitting your content in hopes of getting a full manuscript request and a contract. However, in order to reduce the likelihood of sending the same material to the same agent or material to multiple agents in the company, you should create your list first.
1. It Can Take a Long Time to Find the Right Agents for Your Fiction or Non-Fiction Manuscript.
There are thousands of literary agents across the globe. Query Tracker lists more than 1,600 in its inventory of literary agents, and you don’t want to send your manuscript to all 1,600 agents. That would be a waste of time, since all of those agents may not accept the type of book you wrote, or they may list exclusions that would include the theme of concept for your novel.
For example, if you wrote a historical romance, you’d want to find all the agents that list romance and historical fiction. If that same agent listed that they take romance but not historical romance or historical novels, you’d want to avoid sending your submission package to them. In that same vein, you wouldn’t want to send your adult fiction novel to an agent that specializes in middle grade and children’s books.
You also want to take a look at the other authors they represent and where those authors’ books were published. Do they place books with the major publishing houses or publishers that only accept agented submissions, or do they place books with publishers that don’t care where they get their submissions? While the publishers that accept manuscripts from everyone may weigh agented submissions more heavily, the bottom line is that you can submit to those same publishers without handing over 15 to 20 percent of your royalties to the agent.
2. You Don’t Want to Submit the Same Material to the Same Agent or Multiple Agents in the Same Agency.
Creating a list of agents prior to starting the submission process eliminates certain new author mistakes, like sending the same agent multiple submissions and querying more than one agent at a literary agency at the same time. Making the mistake of sending multiple submissions can invalidate your submission and get it thrown into the digital trash bin before the agent reads more than the subject of your email. For this reason, you should always list the agent’s name in your spreadsheet as well as the agency where they work.
3. Your Submissions Will Take Less Time.
Once you’ve researched and listed all of the agents that take your type of book, your submissions will take less time. This is because you’re not researching the agents at the same time you’re submitting. Instead, you’re simply moving down your list in a logical and efficient manner. This means that instead of submitting to three agents a night, you’ll probably be able to submit to 10 or 15.
4. You Can Track Your Submissions.
The biggest benefit to setting up your agent spreadsheet ahead of time is that you’ll be able to track your submissions. At any given point, you’ll know which agents you have submitted query packages to, and you’ll know when you submitted the information. You’ll also be able to add your own notes and list a date when the submission will expire. Once the submission expires or times out, you’ll be able to submit to another agent at that particular agency.
By following these tips, you can reduce common author mistakes when it comes to submitting to literary agents and decrease the time it takes you to submit to all the agents that take your particular type of book. Of course, once you finish you’ll list, you’ll still have to wait for rejection letters, requests for full and partial manuscripts and agent timeouts. I recommend that you do not waist that wait time, and keep up your momentum by starting on your next book. This is because it can take between four and six months or longer for every agent on your list to timeout or request more material.
Read More Articles on Agents and Agent Queries
- What to Do When You've Exhausted Your List of Literary Agents
- How to Efficiently Query an Agent
- Where can I find a list of agents for my newly finished manuscript?
- Should You Start Submitting to Agents Before You Have Your Novel Finished?
- Should You Find an Agent or Self-Publish Your Next Book?
Read More Fiction From Stacey Carroll
With time running out, 18-year-old senior, Kelsey, must get straight A’s to qualify for a scholarship to college. After living several years on the street with her poverty riddled parents, in by a man she calls Uncle Greg, but he only agreed to house her until she graduated from high school. With four weeks left, Kelsey has to prove that she has a 4.0 graduating GPA to get a free ride to college via an exclusive scholarship, and that means getting straight A’s her final semester and somehow convincing the teachers to change her previous grades. If she can’t do it, she knows she’ll end up back on the street.
In a high school that's better known for it's scandals and internal investigations than for it's high acedemic achievement, high school senior, Kelsey Smith, has her work cut out for her if she plans to take home the A-Plus Scholarship so she can get a free ride to college.
Disadvantaged due to her upbringing on the street and missing years of primary schooling, Kelsey just doesn't know enough of the material to get straight A's, but she does know how to manipulate her friends into doing her homework, and she likes to think she'd good at giving the men what they want. Can she turn her orgasmic skills into straight A's? She only has four weeks to make it happen! Otherwise, she could find herself back out on the street!