How to Qualify a Literary Agent

One of the truths of book publishing is many royalty publishers (those who buy your intellectual property and pay you royalties for copies sold) use literary agents as screening tools. Agents screen out the manuscripts they  think won’t succeed in the marketplace. Of course, agents are human and don’t always know, but royalty publishers often rely on them as unpaid consultants. That’s why you’ll see “no unagented material” or “agented material only” comments in royalty publisher guidelines.

Since literary agents don’t get paid unless you do, they have to sell your writing and wait for their commission. Well, they have to do that unless they charge you reading fees (that means they get money just for reading your work, so why would they even want to bother trying to sell you?).

Here’s an article entitled “How to Evaluate a Literary Agent” that’s worth reading. It pretty much answers any questions you may have about finding a literary agent.

When looking for a literary agent, it’s important you remember the agent works for you, not the other way around. The agent is getting a cut of your earnings, not the other way around.

Click the link, read the article, then make a good business decision when you get the opportunity to qualify a literary agent.

Happy Writing!


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