25 Questions Before you seek an agent

Sexting is a sure-fire way to get noticed by someone, but not an agent! As promised here are 25 questions you Need answered BEFORE you seek an agent or self-publish. This is a handout I received from Brian A. Klems, during the Philadelphia Writers Conference in November. Contact info: Brianklems@gmail.com, @BrianKlems. Also, I will get that review on Catalina Cove by Brenda Jackson as I said on FB (@ecwrytes).

Do I need an agent? No, but it is in your best interest.

What do agents do? Advertise your book and more! Remember, an agent gets a certain percentage of your sells. Therefore, more equals more!

How do you avoid immediate agent rejections? Follow submission guidelines AND proper grammar & the dictionary!

Where do I find submission guidelines for agents? Agentquery.com, querytracker.net, The Guide to Literary Agents- Writers Digest

What is a Query? 4 to 5 paragraph email that introduces your book to an agent

What should my query letter look like? Intro/Book Jacket, Copy/Qualifications/Why You Picked That Agent

*KNOW WHO YOU QUERY! Get on social media, read their work, study them! Don’t query a science fiction agent and your book is about history.

What is a synopsis? A summary of your book. Be prepared for any and all questions regarding you book!

How long should my synopsis be/ what should it include? Two pages, double spaced, reveal all major points, including the ending! Your Team (agent, editor, etc…) is allowed and needs to know your ending in order to get it to the best format and know what they are selling. Oh yes… your editing may not be done once submitted to an agent.

Can I query multiple agents at the same time? Yes.

How many query letters should I send out? No more than five (5) at a time. If the current copy has confusing plots, excessive grammar/spelling errors, you can correct that and send the updated/revised copy to new agents.

How many agents should I query before giving up? 20 more than what your gut says. Remember The Help? Well, it got rejected over 60 times, before someone said yes.

Do I need to copyright my book before sending it out to agents? (Email it to yourself to timestamp it) *Personally, I use copyright.gov.

What are the cons of traditionally publishing your book? Painfully slow and sharing big chunks of profit with agent and editor. But hey, if you ever decide to self-publish, you’ll know the process!

What are the pros of traditional publishing? Free editing, design and marketing help, distribution channels, and you get PAID.

What are the pros of self-publishing? Total control keeps all profits.

What are the cons of self-publishing? Upfront costs, lack of distribution, minimal control.

If I choose to self-publish, what should I look for in a self-publishing company? Costs vs. What they offer vs. What you want to accomplish.

What is your platform? Platform is your visibility to potential readers.

If you plan on doing this for the long haul get an author website, because terms and conditions change on social media. (Platforms: Facebook, Reddit, Twitter…)

What social media sites should I be on? All the sites you can manage. If you don’t love social media start with 2 or 3.

When should I start building my platforms? Yesterday.

Can I get published without a platform (ex: word of mouth)? Yes, but it’s more difficult.

How do I know my manuscript is ready to pitch to agents or self-publish? When it has strong characters, good plot points, is clear of typos and well-written.

Where can I find beta readers? Local writing groups and writing conferences.

What’s an advance of royalties? Advance is what a publisher pays upfront; royalties are what a publisher pays after earning back the advance.

What should you be doing while waiting to hear back on a query letter?

Writing your next book

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