Finding a literary agent is a daunting task if you want to go down the traditional marketing route. Once you find a suitable agent, you worry you’re not good enough after all. Nonsense of course. Think of it this way: if you think you’re good and you like your novel then you probably are and it probably is good. Don’t let the prospect of rejection scare you from submitting your book. Did you know that Stephen King had 144 rejections?
There are a lot of UK based agents looking for manuscripts just like yours. You just have to be persistent. Take each rejection as ‘They are not right for me’
You can click on the links below and go right to the Agent Website….
List of UK Based Literary Agents for First Time Authors
- Curtis Brown
- Darley Anderson
- Jankow and Nesbit
- Madeleine Milburn
- Blake Friedman
- Caroline Sheldon
- LAW Agency
- Felicity Bryan
- The North
Advice on Novel Submissions
The key is to research each agency. Make sure you are submitting your manuscript to the right agent in each case. For example, if you are submitting a fact based non-fiction book, then don’t submit it to a fiction agent.
Don’t blanket submit, rather select around six agents at a time and carefully research their criteria for submission. Does your book actually suit them?
Each of the agencies listed above are legitimate trusted companies. I’d personally advise that you don’t submit to vanity publishers. So any company that’s openly touting for your work, that want to charge YOU for publication. There is simply very little point in going down this route. You might consider self-publishing over vanity publishing. The only reason to do it this way is if you just want to see your novel in print. No doubt it will be a quality product, but will it sell? What makes it any more marketable?
Be Patient – You Are One of Many New Authors
Agents are busy people. They get around 100 submissions a week! Be prepared to wait up to 12 weeks for acknowledgment. If you don’t hear anything after this point, then it’s pretty safe to assume you aren’t going to.
Most agents will simply tell you that whilst they enjoyed your manuscript, it wasn’t quite right for their list.
If you are lucky you will be asked to submit the whole manuscript. This means that they are suitably interested in your book to invest some time into reading the rest of it. This is a good sign, but many authors are still rejected after this point. Which in a way is rather worse than rejection on a few chapters!
The Right Agent is Looking For You
Agents are actively looking for new writers and you may be the next big thing. It’s their job to seek out new talent, promote both new and established writers, find you a publisher and pretty much do the stuff you can’t do.
Please don’t be disheartened by rejection. It’s all part of the process. I won’t tell you that it’s character building because it isn’t. I will however, tell you congratulations, you are a real life writer. You have accomplished something huge. You have completed a full novel and you are officially an author whether you believe it or not.
If you are determined to get a publisher then this is the route you must take. Soul destroying though it might be at times, there is the possibility of great things coming your way!
Hang in there new authors x