How To Work With Book Publishing Agents

The world of book publishing is very competitive and publishing houses get thousands of submissions from hopeful authors everyday. Book publishing is a lucrative business; if you ever come up with a best seller, you’re assured of top revenues year after year. But how do you even make an entry into this highly competitive business? One thing you can do is to engage book publishing agents who know the ins and outs of the business, and can help you see your first book in print. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can find the best book publishing agent:

1. Find out who the best book publishing agents are in your field.

Most book publishing agents specialize in certain fields, and so it is best to do your research first on who are the prominent literary agents in the category where your book belongs. You can check published authors in your category and see who their book publishing agent is. You can also network with other authors in your field. A good word travels fast, and your peers would surely know who the best book publishing agents are. You can also check the websites of these agents, if they have any, to get an idea on the type of works that they prefer to handle.

2. Sell your idea.

Once you’ve identified the agents you would want to talk to and work with, prepare a book proposal that they would find difficult to turn down. Don’t simply give your agent a gist of your book, but write a complete business proposal, with mention of your target audience, and how you plan to reach out to them. Sell the idea, not the book yet. Let your book publishing agent see that the topic of your book is relevant and compelling – one that will be discussed in internet forums, daytime talk shows, radio programs and quoted on magazines and newspapers.

You need to show as well that you, as an author, will not be that difficult to market. You need to project the confidence and an engaging character that can make you an interesting author. Mention your expertise and give reasons why you are the right person to write on the topic you chose.

3. Show that there is a market for your book.

You can easily convince a literary agent to help you market your book if you can provide data showing that there is a market for your book. Who would your readers be? How many of them are there? What other books target those readers? What makes your book different from those already published? Your proposal should also include a profile of your target audience and how you plan to reach it. Make your estimates conservative and achievable. If you had previously published and sold books, then include your past performance as a basis for making sales projections.

4. Try to build a relationship with book publishing agents.

Join an online forum that you know is frequented by book publishing agents. Invite a prominent literary agent to a seminar or a meeting of your peers in the industry. If you get turned down by a literary agent, send him a letter of thanks for the time he spent considering your work. It will make a good impression and he will remember you or perhaps even recommend someone who would be more interested with your work.

5. Build your reputation as a writer.

You can join literary groups, enter writing contests, write for magazines and newspapers or create your own blog. Start small by writing articles that can generate public interest. Promote your own talents and sooner or later someone will notice your mastery of the art.

Book publishing agents can help you reach your dream of getting published. Use your talent, skills and charm to choose the right agent and be on your way to becoming a successful writer.

Learn more about writing and publishing and how to get an agent here at


  1. Sammie says

    I’ve finished my first novel and now looking for a publisher or agent, submitting to both. Using the same submission letter,altering one for an agent, the other to a major publisher, the agent’s feedback was quick. My letter I was told was confusing to the point it was mindless. The publisher’s –a major publisher–feedback was quicker–my novel was rejected BUT they wanted to read anything else I wrote. I apologized to the agent for wasting their time, and thanked the publisher for the open door.