Key Number Ten: Do Your Research

Now that you’ve finished your submission package.  Make sure that you have researched the agents that you want to submit to. Know what types of books they represent. Most importantly, a number of agents may have closed their lists and may not accept new clients at the time you begin submitting. You don’t want to waste postage submitting to someone who is not interested in what you’ve written, or is not taking on new clients. There are a number of excellent books that list agents,  the type projects they accept and whether or not they are taking on new clients.  The book I used was Jeff Herman’s Guide, to Book Publishers, Editors, and Agents.

You also want to research the market. You need to know what books are being acquired by the agent that you have chosen to query, as well as how well books like yours are selling in the market.  Armed with this knowledge, you can better position yourself to sell your project and yourself to the agent. Who would turn down a book that not only stacks up to a book that has already sold a million copies, but is even better than those that are selling?  That’s why it’s a good thing to know your book so well you can tell the agent  how and why your book could do better.  Just remember: show confidence in your project, not arrogance!

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