LitMatch: Research Literary Agents and Track Submissions

Monday, February 25, 2008

Recommended Reading for Writers in Search of Agents

There’s no shortage of books out there aimed at writers who are looking for agents. With so many to choose from, I can’t claim that I know all of the best ones, but I can recommend a few that I’ve personally found helpful. So, without further ado, here’s a little peek at my own personal bookshelf…

Jeff Herman’s Guide
If print directories were cars, this one would be the Cadillac. It features plenty of great information about publishers and agents, along with personal details that help you get to know the people behind the names. It’s topped off with lots of great advice, essays and industry information that make this book truly indispensable.

Your Novel Proposal From Creation to Contract
A good, solid book for fiction writers who are better at writing novels than they are at writing queries about novels (and really, isn’t that most of us?) It features sound, practical advice on writing query letters and synopses, along with lots of examples from established authors (including Elmore Leonard, one of my personal heroes.) It also has a lot of good information how to manage your relationship with an agent, with advice on everything from rejections to contracts.

Getting Your Book Published for Dummies
I love the Dummies books. They’re friendly, they’re concise, and they’re packed with tons of good information. Above all, they’re fun and they don’t take themselves too seriously. This one is no exception, and goes a long way toward demystifying the agent-writer relationship.

Beyond the Bestseller
As far as I can tell, this one’s out of print, and admittedly a little dated. But, if you can manage to score yourself a copy, you’ll find a book that’s full of great, first-hand information about the publishing business. I keep hoping in vain for an updated edition, but much of what Richard Curtis talks about in this volume is timeless. If you can’t manage to track this one down, then check out one of Richard’s many other books, including How To Be Your Own Literary Agent.

So, there you have it. If you have recommendations of your own, feel free to add them to this list. Until next time, happy reading, and if you’re not reading, get back to writing!

Christopher Hawkins


Lynn Barry said...

I want to thank for I have not wowed an agent yet but your easy breezy way of finding out about agencies and contacting them has been a blessing to me as a writer. THANKS!

Christopher Hawkins said...

Thank YOU, Lynn. I'm so happy that you're finding the site helpful!

- Chris