Story Catcher Publishing Expansion: How To Hook A Literary Agent’s Attention

Beginning in the Fall of 2023, Story Catcher Publishing will provide support for new and established writers who want to expand into the indie industry. We will celebrate the relationships we build with the Kidlit community.

But what if, as a writer, you don’t want to step your toe into the hybrid publishing pool?

Then we still want to provide resources for writers focusing on hooking an agent to represent them because readers deserve all the lovely books we can create for them!

Here are some things to keep in mind as you go in search of the right agent for you…

POLISH YOUR MANUSCRIPTS

You can’t play baseball without the right equipment, and you can’t hook an agent without some polished manuscripts. And I don’t mean just one manuscript you just typed “the end” on. To show a potential agent you are a serious professional when it comes to writing, they will expect three to four high-quality completed stories to look at. Check your spelling. Double check your grammar. Triple check everything and make sure there has been plenty of revisions done to tighten those storylines. If you get a wink from a potential agent, you want to then dazzle them with stunning stories.

KNOW WHAT YOU’RE SEARCHING FOR

There are almost as many types of agents as there are writers. Take a moment to really think about the type of agent you are looking for. Want one for your picture books? Need someone to guide you through your chapter book series? In search of a partner to champion your young adult novels? Whatever type of agent you are looking for, DO YOUR RESEARCH! There is nothing more disrespectful to an agent than for them to have to dig through a slush pile of manuscripts that aren’t even genres they represent! Take the time to study the likes, dislikes, and preferences of each “dream” agent so your short list will only include the talent most suited to your writing style.

PREPARE YOUR QUERY LETTER

You have three or more polished manuscripts. You’ve done your research and have a list of potential agents who might be interested in your style of writing. Now you need to focus on creating the strongest introduction to your work that you can via a stellar query letter. Check out our blog on creating a strong query letter by clicking on this link… https://storycatcherpublishing.com/2023/02/22/story-catcher-publishing-expansion-creating-a-strong-query-letter/

IT’S TIME TO SUBMIT TO YOUR AGENT LIST

Choose the first four or five agents from your list and review their website submission requirements to make sure you understand what you need to submit to them. Some only want query letters. Others want a query letter and a full manuscript if you are submitting picture book stories. Still others want query letters, synopsis, and maybe first ten pages if submitting a chapter book or young adult novel. DO YOUR RESEARCH before you push that send button!

TRACK! TRACK! TRACK!

It doesn’t really matter what method you use to track your submissions. Some people use index cards. Other use an Excel spreadsheet. Many choose a program like Query Tracker (https://querytracker.net) which is free and is an excellent way to track your manuscript submissions to potential agents. Whichever method you choose, double check your agent websites to see the time frame allowed before you should send a polite follow up email to that agent. If you don’t get a response from an agent after the follow up email, realize they probably aren’t interested in your work and it’s time to move on to the next one.

The search for agent representation can be a long and tedious process. It can literally take years to finally hook an agent so make sure you have the patience and a thick enough skin to make it worth the effort!

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Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Email: [email protected]

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LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

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Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927

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Donna L

Hybrid award winning author; aspiring sketch artist; and 4th Degree Senior Certified Taekwondo Instructor. Host of BOOK NOOK REVIEWS. Member of SCBWI. Mom to fabulous son and adventurer delving into the tricky world of indie-publishing.

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