Querying Literary Agents

It’s been a while since I posted an update on my journey to publication. After a lot of deliberation, I decided to give the traditional publication route a go. After another round of edits and proofreading, my manuscript was ready to go. At this point, I started to seriously research which agents I’d like to work with.

When choosing agents to query, you should consider…

1. Whether they’re open for submissions.

2. What genres they specialise in.

3. What type of manuscripts are they looking for.

4. What type of agent you are looking for.

You can research all of these things by looking through the agents’ profiles. I found a really useful blog post that included a list of loads of agents open to submissions: https://blog.reedsy.com/literary-agents/ and from there, I took some time looking through their websites and profiles. I shortlisted a few that I thought aligned with both my book and my attitudes towards reading and publication. There were a few agents where I really liked the vibe they put out: friendly, approachable, yet knowledgeable and determined. These were the agents I queried.

What do literary agents want?

Different agents ask for different things. Some want to see the full manuscript. Others only want a few chapters. Some want to see a full synopsis, including spoilers. Others want no spoilers at all. It is really important to look for what each agent wants. I am no expert in submitting manuscripts to agents, clearly, but from my research, I have learnt that it is incredibly important to provide the information the agent asks for, in the format they would like to receive it.

Writing a synopsis for your manuscript is hard work.

The hardest part of the submission process for me, was writing the synopsis. It is so bloody hard to write down the main plot of your book on one piece of paper. Thank goodness my happy helpers were there, or I don’t think I’d have been able to do it. Here are a couple of links I used when researching writing a synopsis: https://www.curtisbrowncreative.co.uk/how-to-write-a-synopsis-for-your-novel/ and https://jerichowriters.com/how-to-write-a-novel-synopsis-with-an-example/. Of course, double-check what kind of synopsis the agents want before submitting.  

And now we wait…

I’ve submitted my manuscript, along with whatever information the agent asked for, to a handful of agents who I would like to work with and who I think are a good fit for my manuscript. Now all I can do is wait to hear from them and see what happens. In the meantime, I’ll be working on my second novel, which I’m about halfway through at the moment. It is both exciting and extremely nerve-wracking to think that my manuscript is being read by literary agents who work with some incredible authors. Wish me luck!

As always, wishing you love and books that make your heart skip a beat,

Sarah Jules

P.S, for those who are interested, here is a quick teaser of my book…

Told through two perspectives, FOUND YOU, is the story of lust, love and revenge (with a smattering of torture). Savannah is a student who becomes the victim of a vicious smear campaign orchestrated by her friends. A drunken one-night stand changes her life forever, leading to deadly consequences. Cameron is a perfectly boring school teacher with a new, insanely hot, girlfriend. When he begins to receive photographs of himself being tortured, his life falls apart. Although the stories take place over a decade apart, the two timelines collide, resulting in the murder of an innocent person.

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