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Key Steps To Finding An Agent And Getting Published

If you have written something that you think is worth reading, that you think is worth being published, you now face the prospect of finding an agent or publisher. Through this article, you are provided with information about how you can best enhance your chances of finding either an agent or publisher that will be willing either to provide you with representation or to publish what you have written.


Understanding the Fundamentals: Agents and Publishers Choose You

Time and time again you will hear a person in a coffee shop hammering away on the “next great novel” explaining to a fellow Java drinker that he or she is in the process of selecting an agent or publisher. Such a statement is one made by a person who does not have even a rudimentary understanding of the publishing industry today. Only in very exceptional cases is a writer actually pursued by publishers or agents. The reality is that in this day and age a writer normally will not have the luxury of “choosing” an agent or publisher. Rather, a writer will have to do everything in his or her power to make his or her self most attractive to an agent of a publisher.


The Importance of an Agent

Overall, the days in which you could submit a completed manuscript (or even pages from a manuscript and a synopsis) to a traditional publishing house are long gone. In some very rare instances, a first time author is able to get his or her foot in the door and get a manuscript looked at by an editor for a major publisher. However, you absolutely must understand that in the twenty-first century this completely is the exception and not the rule. In this day and age, writers who are making headway in getting published are those that have agents. Therefore, if you really are serious about the business of writing, you will want to focus your attention on getting an agent as opposed to getting your foot in the door of a major publishing house.

What you will find as you begin your search for an agent is that it is extremely difficult to get a well-qualified and experienced agent to represent you. The typical major agency or highly regarded agent already has a full plate of writers. However, if you can develop a compelling excerpt from something you have written, combined with a terrific synopsis of the work and a tremendously appealing resume, you may have at least some chance of garnering the attention of an agent or agency.

There are some smaller agencies and much lesser known (and, as a result, less connected) agents with whom you may be able to sign.  You may want to consider this as a stepping-stone on your own way to greater success. With that said, you need to bear in mind that an agent or agency that asks you to pay them money up front to represent you is not a reputable operator. Reliable agents and agencies do not require their clients to pay them money.


Looking Towards Small Publishers

As mentioned previously in this article, it is extremely difficult to impossible for a first time writer to get his or her manuscript through the doors of a major publishing house. There are some smaller publishers that a first time writer might want to consider. Again, being agented generally gives a writer the best chance of getting a manuscript before a publisher. However, because of the way in which a smaller publisher operates, you actually have at least some relatively decent chance of getting your manuscript before the editor for a smaller publishing operation.

The key to getting hooked up and connected with a smaller publisher is to do your homework in advance. These smaller publishers tend to specialize in a particular market niche or geographic region. Therefore, if you can identify a publisher that specializes in the type of book you have created or that publishes in the geographic region in which you reside or about which you have written, you will have an obviously better chance of getting someone to look at your book.

You need to keep in mind that if you do go with a smaller publishing house, a great deal of the marketing for your book – should it be published – will fall on your shoulders. In this day and age, smaller publishers have extremely limited marketing and promotional budgets. This particularly is the case with new and untested authors.


Print on Demand Publishers

There is a new trend in publishing that is opening the doors to more writers. This trend is known as print on demand publishing. You need to understand that print of demand publishing differs from publishing on demand. Publishing on demand is a type of self-publishing service. A writer pays a self-publishing house to actually publish the book on demand.

Print on demand is part of the process used in self publishing but it is also used by a growing number of traditional publishing houses. These publishers will purchase the rights to a book from a writer but use the print on demand process to get the manuscript into print. In other words, through technological advances, these traditional publishers only print a copy of a book when it has actually been ordered.

Through this process, some traditional publishing houses have been willing to take at least some risk in investing in the work of a new writer. Again, it is allowing at least a small opening into the world of traditional publishing for an aspiring author. (As a side note, many smaller publishers are also getting into the print on demand arena with more frequency.)

By considering the information in this article, you will be in the best possible position to understand what you will need to do if you are serious about becoming a published author in the twenty-first century. You will better understand what steps you will want to consider taking to advance your own writing career.