Submitting Manuscripts to Literary Agents

So you have written the next great American novel you know will make you rich. Your manuscript has been edited professionally and is double spaced with one inch right justified margins. And now you are ready to submit for the first time to a literary agent or publisher.

You visit your first submissions page and see the following…

  • Title of book
  • Book Genre: Fiction, non-fiction, spiritual, new age, Christian, etc
  • Topic and book synopsis
  • Intended audience
  • List of books similar to your topic and how yours is different
  • Your marketing plan
  • Manuscript length, word count
  • Completion date
  • Table of contents
  • First three chapters

As you read the requirements, it is then you realize you will have to do some research, use critical thinking, and have good writing skills. And if the submission is a one page query letter or email, your opening sentence needs to knock the socks off the agent and publisher. This is where some good copywriting skills are valuable.

For example, if your book is about aliens attacking the earth and you write ‘My book is about a group of aliens from outer space attacking the earth’… the agent is going to stop reading and hit delete.

On the other hand, if you have an opening line such as…. Jason was in survival mode. “God help me survive!” Justin prayed as he maneuvered his motorcycle to avoid the death beams shooting out from the ships. He ignored the screams of people around him being zapped and the smell of burnt flesh.

I bet this opening statement makes you want to read more.

The following is a link to a literary agencies blog with some helpful info on submitting. http://www.lizadawsonassociates.com/what-an-agent-thinks/

Happy writing!

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2 thoughts on “Submitting Manuscripts to Literary Agents

  1. Well when it is time you’ll do fine! Here is a link to Jerry Jenkins web page. He is the best selling author of The Left Behind series. He has some wonderful information on writing that has helped me. Jerry Jenkins

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