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What is the best way to find an agent/publisher?
I have self-published before because I didn't think I could afford to find myself an agent or publisher. I don't know how to go about sending off to a publisher or agent, or what the latter really entails
Finding an agent or a publisher shouldn't cost you a dime because the good ones do not charge to review your submission. You only worry about that stuff when a contract comes to you and then it's based on how much your book sells. But anyway, the best place for you to start is the Guide to Literary Agents; they should have a copy at your local library. I believe the 2013 edition is out now, and it has everything you need. It gives you tips on how to get your book ready, write a query letter and a synopsis. It also provides you with a list at the end of the book with agents who are open to submissions in your genre.
Finding publishers is a little bit trickier. Most of the big name publishing houses will not accept submissions from authors who don't have an agent, this is why they recommend you query to agents first. However, there are a few that will accept your manuscript without an agent. The only way to find out which ones do and which ones don't is to narrow down your book's genre, then do some research on the publishers that generally publish that genre. A trip to the bookstore with a pen and paper will help you start a list of publishers. You can do a general search online, but your best defense is careful reading. Make sure you aren't submitting to a publisher where you have to pay to have your book printed. They accept most submissions because they know you will have to pay for a package deal to get your book made. It's not an illegal practice, but these publishers get the money from you and, therefore, don't have much incentive to promote your work.
Hope that helps!
You could try Duotrope. Here's the link:
It finds publishers for you depending on what you're writing and what sort of compensation you're looking for.
I wish you luck
I used the WRITER'S MARKET guide for agents in 1999. I listed all the agents that matched my genre (multicultural romance), and it was a short list of eight. I sent query letters to each of them detailing the novel I had written. Four wanted a few chapters, three said no thanks, and one never responded. Of the four, two wanted the entire novel, and one agreed to represent it. To recap: 1) find agents that rep your genre, maybe even exclusively. My agent likes romance, and he knows where to sell it. 2) Send query letters, which are short, to-the-point (a.k.a. "the bullet") descriptions of your work. 3) flood the agent market and wait ... about two weeks. Agents are much quicker than publishers are in getting back to you, and most major publishers these days won't even look at your work unless it's represented by an agent. Kind of a Catch-22, I know. You first need an agent, who acts as a go-between, to "speak" to a publisher. It reminds me more and more of an arranged marriage, and the agent is the marriage broker. NOTE: I hated writing query letters with a passion. I had a 100,000-word novel that I had to distill into 300 words or less in that query letter. Back then, I had to use real stamps. Some agents accept e-mail queries these days. Start that list of agents!
I use AgentQuery.com - best forums, encouragement, instruction and education I have ever found concerning the act of becoming published!
Best way is to hit the Internet, shortlist a few, check their authenticity and then finalize on one.
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