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goldinwords's avatar

How can i get a top-notch book agent for a thriller novel i just finished?

Asked by goldinwords (10points) December 24th, 2010

I’m a novelist from Ghana, a country in W. Africa. I’m almost done with a bestseller novel. How can i get the best agents and publishers to look at my work?

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7 Answers

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marinelife's avatar

You need to get an agent so you have to write a successful query letter.

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Jeruba's avatar

Ah, a question for the ages. Welcome to Fluther.

First, make sure your manuscript has been well and capably edited by an editor who understands what you are trying to do and the audience you’re addressing. This is not the kind of editor who is employed by a publisher to select titles and see them through to publication. This is someone who will work directly with you to make sure your manuscript is ready for submission. You want it to be as smooth, coherent, and error-free as you can make it.

Here’s some advice I’ve heard from agents and successful authors:

1. When submitting to anyone—publisher, agent, magazine—first study their requirements and make sure you know what type of books they are interested in. A huge percentage of rejections occur just because the author submitted the manuscript to someone who does not handle that type of material.

2. Find works in the genre that are similar to yours and see who published them. With a little digging you can also find out who the agent was that sold them. You can make reference to this similarity in your cover letter addressing the same agent.

3. Attend book signings of authors whose work bears some comparison to yours and ask the authors about their agents.

4. Attend writers’ conferences and make use of opportunities to meet with agents and publishers’ representatives.

5. Prepare a strong synopsis of your novel and also a 25-word version of the main storyline, including what the main character is trying to do, who or what is in the way of success, and what will happen if he or she fails.

6. Consider self-publication and electronic publication. The publishing industry (at least in the U.S.) is in turmoil as a result of trying to adapt to new trends in reading and publishing. Traditional publishing has fallen off. Consider nontraditional routes to your audience.

Writers’ magazines, authors’ and agents and publishers’ websites, and writers’ workshops are full of advice of the sort you are looking for. Some research will lead you to much more information. Good luck.

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