Literary agents are not necessarily looking for the next bestselling book. And despite everything you might be thinking, book agents looking for new writers are okay with the fact that you may not have the next New York Times Bestseller on your laptop.
So as a writer, you can relax in knowing that. Because what literary agents are looking for from first-time authors is something they can sell to publishers. Which makes things a little more realistic.
But it still means you do have some work to do before you have a bestseller on your hands.
And this means working on a completed book. It doesn't have to be a bestseller this time around, but it does have to be a completed manuscript. And how to get a literary agent to represent you hinges on writing a coherent book that people want to read.
Not something that needs heavy editing, complete rewriting, or is simply a compilation of interesting ideas.
Because what the best literary agents for first-time authors are looking for is a completed manuscript. One they can sell to publishers and make a living for themselves. And a literary agent job description does not include editing your unfinished book.
And with literary agents, that's really all there is to it.
Because no matter how good your writing ideas and concepts are, in order to capture the attention of non-fiction literary agents - or literary agents of fiction for new authors - you will have to write a finished and marketable product. One that can go directly on the shelves of Barnes and Noble bookstores. A literary agent's salary depends on it. So while book agents don't need a bestseller, they will only represent authors they can sell.
But this is good news.
Because your book doesn't have to be a bestseller the first time around to get the attention of literary agents. Your book just has to be something that sells.
This is because more than anything, literary agents seeking new talent want a finished product. One that sells.
Not the overwhelming bestseller you think you have to write.
This is how the commercial publishing world works, and even if you are self-publishing, you won't get away from the reality of book sales.
And literary agents work at selling books every day - just like you do.
And they are always looking to discover new talent. But more than anything, that new talent has to have a completed manuscript.
A completed manuscript that literary agents can sell every day to publishers and readers alike.
And of course, that bestseller manuscript they represent should be yours.
But it won’t be - at least not yet. Because your manuscript isn't quite complete.
And this is because you are lacking several basics that every literary agent needs from you. Before they can give you the green light. And no literary agent is willing to take a risk on unproven writing talent who doesn't have a completed writing project.
But before you start to become discouraged by rejection, it's time to take a step back and look at what good writing really is.
Good writing means connecting with lots and lots of people. And sharing a message they can all grasp onto.
To learn more about connecting with more readers, click here: http://writeyourselfrich.net/make-your-own-book-appealing/
And instead of putting down book agents for not being interested in what you are writing, let’s look at the three things they need from you before they can launch your first book.
#1. Literary Agents Need A Written Book Proposal.
Every non-fiction book needs a written book proposal. (Keeping in mind that a completed novel is its own book proposal.) And a written book proposal for a non-fiction book is not just a summary of its contents.
An enticing book proposal talks about all of the benefits a person will gain from reading your book. So what you will have to do when you write an appealing book proposal for a self-help book is to talk about what a person will learn in every chapter. What wisdom you are imparting so that the reader will improve their life.
And even though it may not seem so, a novel will also have to be intriguing enough so that the reader can't put it down. In other words,a page turner.
So write your book proposal (or novel) in such a way that the literary agent who reads it can’t wait for you to publish your book so they can buy it for themselves. And recommend it to their social media network.
#2. Literary Agents Need A Genre For Your Book.
Every commercially viable book has to have a genre so that consumers can easily find it and buy it. (And that’s exactly what you want them to do.)
So as a first-time author, when you insist that your book be all things to all people, it will immediately force a literary agent to take a pass on reading your written book proposal. Or novel.
Because if you pick a specific genre for your first book, it will be so much easier to sell it to readers and literary agents alike.
So fight the urge to be enigmatic. Then pick a specific genre for your first book. You can be as experimental as you want once you are an established author.
(And here’s a helpful hint: most nonfiction books fall into the self-help genre. And most novels fall into the drama, romance, science fiction, horror, fantasy, action/adventure, mystery, or young adult fiction genres.)
#3. Literary Agents Need You To Have An Author Platform.
Simply put, an author platform means “the people who are already reading your work.”
And this doesn't mean who is reading your self-published books. It just means how many people are reading and commenting on your social media presence. And with social media so readily available, there are no excuses if you don’t already have an extensive following on a social media platform.
So if you don’t have a blog or other social media presence with a huge following - GET ONE.
A literary agent has to know that other people are interested in what you have to say. And book agents are much more likely to talk to you if people are following you on social media. Because it makes their job much easier when it comes time to pitch your book to the major publishing houses.
This way, literary agents can tell a publishing house that your book is the bestseller we all know it will be. And by following these three simple rules (so that book agents can sell your book) you will have a much better chance of writing and marketing a bestseller.
I know you can do it.
See also: https://brenthollister.blogspot.com/