Literary agents are one of the most sought-after jobs in the publishing industry, and they’re hard to find.
They’re notoriously difficult to get.
Most agents are still struggling to make ends meet.
And the lure of being the first person to sign your clients’ books is huge, as well as the fact that they’ll make your life a little easier.
But what if you’re a beginner?
If you’re looking to get into the literary world, here’s how to become an agent without being a book-slinging douchebag or a snooty copyeditor.1.
Start small: Start small.
This might seem obvious, but it’s not.
If you’ve got a handful of books to sell and want to put some cash behind them, the first thing to do is get a taste for writing.
If that sounds like a lot of work, don’t worry, it’s okay.
Just start writing.
Start a blog or a podcast.
Write a book proposal.
Write some short stories.
But don’t overthink it.
There’s no point in trying to write 100,000 words a week if you don’t know how to write well.2.
Pick your niche: There are plenty of books out there that have a genre, but how do you choose which books you should be focusing on?
That’s where you can pick your niche.
Literary agents have an enormous range of interests, but they all have one thing in common: They want to write about a specific genre.
As long as you write fiction, you should get your first literary agent.
If it’s science fiction, romance, or mysteries, you might want to get a literary agent who specializes in that genre.
For writers with more literary agents, you’ll probably want to find one who specializes more in a certain genre.
If your writing isn’t as specialized as that, you could try a literary-fiction blog.3.
Get a solid writing coach: If you want to learn how to be an agent, then a good first step is to find a professional writing coach.
They’re there for you, and you’ll get a lot out of them.
You don’t have to hire one, though, if you already have a good writer in mind.
There are lots of great writers out there, and many are easy to find online.
There might even be a great writing coach at your local library.4.
Find a great agent: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
That said, there are plenty that are great.
If all you want is to start writing, the more experience you have, the better.
If a writer in your writing group is a solid agent, you can work with them.
If not, you’re on your own.5.
Take the leap: The more you get out there as a writer, the easier it will be to find agents.
And if you find yourself getting a bit frustrated, that’s okay, too.
Start asking for help.
You might have to ask the editor or book-signing agent to put you on their radar.
There’ll be some that will be happy to oblige.
But if you really want to start your career, you need to be willing to go the extra mile.