To Agent or Not…


Typewriter Pink

On Wednesday I like to share information I picked up on my path to publishing, marketing and preparing to publish again. Information that I wish someone would have shared with me, back then.

To Agent or Not and How the Heck do you Find One…

Writing a book is such a personal even solitary act, a creative process. Publishing, marketing and selling a book is a difficult even brutal at times business process. Authors have choices today and if your decision is to give traditional publishing a try, you will need an agent. Agents handle the business of selling a book to a publisher and negotiating the best possible contract for you.

Before querying an agent your manuscript needs to be complete which includes having been professionally edited by a literary editor. Believe me the editing is not a step you want to skip. It isn’t all about grammar. It is also about plot and character development, story flow and identifying holes in the story. It is an expense and it takes time but it will save time in the end and will definitely improve your chances of landing a good agent and a lucrative publishing deal. Consider it an investment in your book and in your future. The book should also have been beta read by at least three readers. You will also need to have a complete proposal which includes a synopsis and a query letter.

The Write Life has some good tips for querying:

I used query tracker to research agents. You want to read their bio and make sure what they are looking to represent is what you wrote. You also want to learn something personal about them. Most importantly you want to spell their name correctly and follow their submission guidelines carefully. If your query is not formatted and submitted correctly there is a 99.9% chance it will be discarded. Agents receive 100’s of queries a week. They do not get paid unless the author gets paid so of course they will choose to work with authors who can follow directions.

The best way to pitch an agent is in person and the way to do that is to attend writers’ conferences, workshops and pitch fests. If pitching in person you also want to research the agent. Learn something personal about them and use it to start a conversation.

Prepare and practice your pitch. Include who your target audience is, the word count, why you are the best person to write this book and a brief synopsis that includes the beginning, middle and end of the story. Have a few questions for the agent in mind as well as a few talking points to use if you have time to fill.

The Philadelphia Writers Conference:

The New York Pitch Conference: [all genres]

New York Writers Workshop: [fiction]

#PitMad on Twitter is another great resource to get your work in front of agents who are actively looking for authors to represent. For information on PitMad:

My tip would be to plan your tweets and schedule out ahead of time and have fun with the process. I have personally heard a few success stories from PitMad participants.

Good Luck and Keep Writing,


Have you entered the Goodreads Contest to win a copy of The Stranger In My Recliner?

The release date is Tuesday January 26, 2016!

High Res Stranger In My Recliner

When Sophie walked through my front door that night I could not believe my eyes. She was a frail, filthy, and hunched over, eighty- year –old woman.

I made her a hot cup of tea and then went upstairs and prepared her a warm bubble bath. I gave her my favorite silk pajamas, clean underwear, a warm fluffy pair of socks and a thick robe.

What possibly could have happened to her, what sin or crime did she commit that would force her to have no choice in the world but to trust complete strangers over family or friends? Wondering about those possible sins and crimes scared me to my core.

My husband on the other hand is trusting to a frustrating fault. I admire his compassion and knew in my heart that keeping her safe and warm on this cold, wet night was the right thing to do no matter how she came to be in this situation. Even if it was wrong of me, I could not help wondering why I had to be the one to do that particular right thing on that particular night.

I just kept saying to myself, no worries, she will only be with us until we can find a good home for her. I believed one of her relatives would show up and claim her. They would knock on our front door and tell us they had been searching for her all over and could not thank us enough for keeping her safe and warm.

Sophie’s story is one of jealous, vindictive siblings, an abusive husband, a sexual assault that resulted in pregnancy, a kidnapping and bitter, unforgiving children. She was attacked by an Elvis impersonators girlfriend and was left out in the cold by a deceiving judge who convinced her to care for his dying wife while he cheated and a group of lost souls that she devoted her life to serving.

As much as I felt we were getting to know Sophie and as much as it was starting to feel like she was just another one of our ‘crazy’ relatives there was still so much we didn’t know about her. After more than two-years how was it even possible that she was still very much the stranger in our recliner?



14 Responses to “To Agent or Not…”

Leave a Reply

advertisement for
Realize Your Writing Dreams by Doreen McGettigan
The Stranger In My Recliner by Doreen McGettigan
Book - Bristol Boyz Stomp by Doreen McGettigan
Enter your Email:
Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz