Handshake Agreement Literary Agent

Most literary agents hate to be seen as doormen. Instead, you can think of them as screens. Publishers prefer agent submissions, because these manuscripts have already gone through a level of screening by the literary agent. A literary agent will not destroy his reputation with an editor by depositing a below-average manuscript. So if you can attract a literary agent, this is a big step forward in your ultimate goal of being published. A few months ago, I could have asked that question myself. I don`t have a contract with my agent who is not a member of the AAR – but when I met her in person, one of the very first things she said was, « I`m willing to send this manuscript to the editors now, but I think they`d be more likely to get a better sale if you did some revisions first. » Then we talked about possible revisions for 90 minutes, in addition to the thought writers she thought would take the manuscript and my plans for future writing projects. The seemingly informal way in which she handles business (at least at this point) was confusing at first, but some authors I know, who do not have a contract with their agents, convinced me that I had nothing to fear — in part because the agent I work with has a reputation that implies that a handshake agreement from her is as good as a written contract; Partly because you think she would not have wasted her precious time in a long enough encounter with me and with subsequent emails if she had no intention of selling the book. She has a very good track record and has been totally honest with me so far, and I feel lucky to have found her. Literary agents are in the sales business, and it is much easier to sell a product to someone who knows you and trusts you than to try to close a sale with a complete stranger. I`d be more worried if an agent insisted on a very binding contract, ala Barbara Bauer and Co.

What is a letter of request? A motion letter is a one-sided pitch document in which an author asks permission to send an original manuscript to a literary agent to represent that author and then sell the work to a publishing house. An established agent will have relationships with acquisition publishers with many publishers. The acquisition publisher is the person responsible for finding the next bestseller. Their job is to read a manuscript, decide if it is sold, and then, if they think it is a success, convince the rest of the editors to approve the book. You need an agent who has established trusting relationships with acquisition publishers. Signing an agreement with an agent is intoxicating, but it`s no guarantee that your book will be published. In fact, authors with a proven record are published by agents, because these agents are not able to sell new works of these established authors. Don`t be crazy with queries. It`s best to limit your queries to five agents at the same time (maximum). Also, avoid consulting several agents of the same agency, especially at the same time. Literary agents understand that many of us are spirited artists, whether we want to be or not.