Giveaway is closed! Congratulations to Christina Lasswell for winning a copy of Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird”!
Do you hope to one day find an agent for your book?
Are you like this?
Do you hope to be like this?
Finding an agent for your book can be tricky, heart wrenching, exhilarating, painful, long … The list goes on.
As an agented author, here is my cheat sheet of things to do WAY before you look for representation. You need to be ready.
If you want to find an agent for your book, read.
Readers tend to write well. Read in your genre, but generally too. I write memoir and personal essays, and I’ve read some wonderful memoirs this year, Hope Eldeman’s “The Possibility of Everything”, “Let’s Take the Long Way Home” by Gail Caldwell and “An Unquiet Mind” by Kay Redfield Jamison, to name a few.
And don’t forget to read books on craft. For memoir, I love Vivian Gornicks, “The Situation and the Story” and Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird.”
If you want to find an agent for your book, write.
Practice writing. Every person on the planet has a compelling story. Life is often stranger than fiction. In order to write a successful memoir, novel, short story, poetry that will become a book, your writing has to be stellar.
Seriously, in order to write a book, you have to spend countless hours WRITING. You better like to write, or at least have enough discipline to do it.
If you want to find an agent for your book, join a writing class.
If you are a part of a class that submits and critique work, then you will be forced to write. I attend a memoir workshop at Story Studio here in Chicago. I love it. The instructor is knowledgeable and kind (check out her blog: Annette Gendler) and the writers are not only gifted, but great at critique. Plus, there’s food and drinks!
If you don’t have a class in your area, start one or look for one on-line.
If you want to find an agent for your book, build a platform.
Yeah, do all the social media stuff. Do it well. And do it often. These days, it’s all about PLATFORM. Jane Friedman has a great post on this topic: A Definition of Author Platform.
Jane says that “what editors and agents typically mean by platform is that they’re looking for someone with visibility and authority who has proven reach to a target audience.”
If you don’t have a blog, start one. Open up a Facebook fan page. Look for opportunities to form relationships with other writers and people in the business. Guest post. Interview people on your new blog.
If you want to find an agent for your book, read, write, and build an author tribe.
And when you are ready to look for an agent, who knows, maybe they’ll be looking for you instead.
Here are some helpful links from people who know and do way more than me:
(Go to the Wordserve Water Cooler to find more great posts on finding agents and getting your book published.)
AND NOW, THE GIVEAWAY!
I’m giving away a copy of Anne Lamott’s famous book on writing, “Bird by Bird.”
To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment and tell me where you are in your writing journey.
For a second chance, like my Facebook author page.
The winner will be chosen through random.org next Thursday, August 30th at midnight.
Don’t forget to follow the rest of the parade!
Follow the rest of the WordServe Watercooler Parade for a chance at amazing gifts and stellar writing advice from other published and agented authors:
1. Anita Agers-Brooks: Anita Fresh Faith
Get your free copy of my e-Book, Marketing with Personality, when you comment on my blog, and provide contact information at the link provided in the post.
5. Jan Dunlap: Jan Dunlap’s Blog
The first chapter of A Murder of Crows: A Bob White Birder Murder Mystery. Book to be released in September!
10. Katy McKenna: Fallible
A chance to win a Mary Engelbreit journal and set of note cards.
11. Melissa K. Norris: Inspiring Your Faith and Pioneer Roots
Chance to Win 10 Page Critique of Your Novel and Query Letter.
16. Lucille Zimmerman: Lucille Zimmerman
Chance to win a Lemongrass Eucalyptus Bath Body Lotion Scrub Spa Set
Hope you enjoyed our parade!