Don't be THAT author...

If you have written a book and are thinking about sending out queries to agents, there are blogs upon blogs with terrific advice for the unsigned (we have recommended Jane Friedman's excellent blog before).

But there are a few don'ts for the querying, too:

  • Don't call the literary agency. Just don't. We'll be nice to you, sure. But we'll just tell you what you should have already researched -- how to submit a proposal. It's on the website. I promise. Don't call.
  • Remember that we get a lot of queries; last week I got upwards of 50 in my inbox alone -- and this isn't counting the ones that go directly to the agents. I try to read and respond  to every query within a week, which is not something all agencies do. I think it's pretty cool -- so I really don't like it when I get a query with a deadline on it. Remember, we didn't ask you to send us your proposal, you're asking us to consider it. Deadlines? Just don't.

There are more, to be sure. But these two don'ts are enough for now. And please: go look at Jane's excellent blog. I guarantee you will learn something that will better your approach to agents and getting your book published.

Ready to submit that proposal? Read this.

If you're an unpublished author, you may turn to Google to begin your journey to getting published.

"how to get published" gets 427,000 results.

"get your book published" gets 132,000 results

That's over half a million choices to make, even taking duplicates into account. So, where does one really begin?

May I recommend a terrific website loaded with great advice written by Jane Friedman? I happened upon her site clicking through GalleyCat (another great site). Friedman has a deep background in writing and publishing, and her blog is a must-read for the author wishing to become published. She covers all the bases: self publishing, book proposals, and finding an agent are must-reads. Friedman also has terrific resources in every blog post, and you can choose to subscribe by email (daily or weekly), which is a bonus.

As you can imagine, we get quite a few book proposals and queries at PGS Literary Agency; there is a formula to getting noticed. Jane Friedman's advice is spot-on, so give her a look before submitting -- not just to us, but to anyone.

And good luck!