Five Top Tips When Querying An Agent

Friday, October 14, 2011
So you've done it! You've completed your masterpiece, fine-tuned it, added a few things here and there, now your finally ready to query and start looking for an agent.

Below, I've posted five helpful tips on what to do when querying.

1. Write a good book. One line I like to use is don't be sloppy. DO NOT just throw a bunch of words together just to get it finished. I know. I know. You're excited and sometimes that makes writers impatient. Slow down... Take a deep breath. Let everything flow. So what if it takes you a little longer. Most of us will still be here.

2. Again be patient. Agents get flooded with queries. Sometimes it may take us a while to respond.

3. Be able to take constructive criticism. Let's face it, nobody gets to be J.K. Rowling over night. And nobody is perfect. There are going to be specific areas of your manuscript that need to be re-written whether your agents suggests you do it or editors do.

4. Be prepared. Don't go into your agent search blindly. Have everything you might need prepared. Query. Manuscript. Partial. Synopsis. If you get that magic hmmmm I'd like to read this, I usually request the partial and synopsis first. That's just me, though, but you never know what we're going to want. Maybe we'll want everything... So it's always good to have everything in order.

5. Never be afraid to ask a million questions. So you're excited. You've written the manuscript, and now you've gotten the call... BUT be careful with that pen. Ask a million questions before you sign that contract. Anytime I'm on a convo with a client I'd like to sign, I ask them do you have any questions? And I answer all of them as thoroughly as possible and they can ask as many as they want. When you sign a contract with an agent, you should never go into without asking questions or getting to know your agent a little better. This is a partnership and both parties need to make certain they are making the right decision.

Hopefully this helps some of you in navigating through literary la la land.

Have a good weekend!



  1. All good suggestions, Lauren. The patience part is the hardest to follow . . . for me. I have to fill my time up once I've subbed so I don't think about the very sloooow passing of time.

    Thanks for putting together a great common-sense list. It should be posted above writers' desks. :-)

  1. khashway said...:

    Great suggestions, Lauren. LOL This totally made me think of when you called me. I went from speechless and in shock to babbling nonstop. But you calmed me down quickly because you're amazing. :)

  1. This is awesome.

    Also - I distinctly remember emailing you this like LIST of questions, and your answers totally sold me.

  1. Anonymous said...:

    Great suggestions. Thanks for the advice! I always ask a TON of questions, so it's good to know that this isn't frowned upon.

  1. All good information to know. Thanks!

  1. Thanks for the tips! This will help when I get to this stage. (I'm the opposite of rush. So is Greta. We rake, then we comb, then we obsess over every little detail until we can't find anything else to pick apart.) And this will definitely help Greta since she just started sending out her queries!

    Paranormal Wastelands

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