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Literary Agents: Meet Book Publishing Agents at Conferences

Conferences provide the best possible chance of meeting book publishing agents in a position to sell your manuscript. If the book is not ready to publish, there's a good chance they'll tell you. They may even provide some tips on what you need to do to get it ready.

A manuscript has to be outstanding to be considered publishable these days, and the competition is stiff. It does not hurt to send a well-prepared manuscript directly to publishers, but the odds are high that doing so will not produce results. If the book is ready, you will lose nothing by trying, but success would be the exception, not the norm.

For most writers, the question is not whether or not to bypass an agent, but how to secure one. The best way to find representation when you've exhausted your contacts is to acknowledge the rules of craft and perfect your manuscript, and thentake it to a conference.

Great first novels have as much chance of success as those written by seasoned professionals, but learning craft is essential. Those who craft exceptional stories will eventually sell their books if they persevere. Those who try to rush the process will have difficulty.

If you have taken the time to understand and master the craft of fiction, you deserve the rewards and accolades that come with traditional publishing. For this reason, I recommend that you attend conferences, make contacts, and wait for the right opportunity with an agent or publisher.

If you secure a publisher before you find representation with an agent, then you can weigh the costs and benefits of choosing a literary contract lawyer over an agent, but in most cases, you will want the services of a good agent.

Return to Part I: Literary Agents: Bypassing a Book Publishing Agent, Part I

Other Articles About Agents

Finding a Literary Agent

When you may NOT need a literary agent

Why publishing agents are necessary

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