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Ask a literary agent your question about how to get a publishing agent here. You’ll also find answers to questions other authors have posted. This article is part of our free 15-Part Guide About How to Get a Book Agent. It was created by, and is curated by, a former literary agent who’s now helped hundreds of authors get book agents as an author coach and consultant. See successful authors at How I Got My Literary Agent.

Book agent in brown suit on the Ask a Literary page of Get a Literary Agent

ASK A Literary Agent – FAQ

This Ask a Literary Agent FAQ answers questions about: the definition and role of a book agent, who publishing agents are, when you should query literary agents, how much representation costs, the best way to find book agents looking for authors, submissions to literary agents, how to handle an offer for representation, what happens after you get a book agent, and more.

Group of publishing agents inviting authors to ask a literary agent a question
ASK A LITERARY AGENT
ASK A BOOK AGENT
ASK A PUBLISHING AGENT
ASK A LITERARY AGENT
ASK A PUBLISHING AGENT
ASK A LITERARY AGENT
ASK A BOOK AGENT
ASK A PUBLISHING AGENT
ASK A LITERARY AGENT
This ask a literary agent page was written by former literary agent turned author coach Mark Malatesta, creator of The Directory of Literary Agents, host of Ask a Literary Agent, and founder of Literary Agent Undercover and The Bestselling Author.

Mark has helped hundreds of authors get offers from literary agents and/or traditional publishers. Writers of all Book Genres have used our Literary Agent Advice coaching/consulting to get Top Literary Agents at the Best Literary Agencies on our List of Book Agents.

Submit Your Question

Ask a Literary Agent

If you have a question about how to get a literary agent that isn’t answered on our website, please post it below. Before posting, scroll above to make sure your question isn’t answered there.

Due to time constraints, we can’t answer questions that have already been answered. Please make your question clear, and concise, since the submission form below is limited to 500 characters.

If you want to remain anonymous, type “Anonymous” in the name field. You’ll receive an email when a reply has been posted (usually within 48 hours). We look forward to helping you get a book agent.

146 Comments

  1. Justin Joseph

    My last comment was removed and it was unanswered, which I wrote under my pen name, so my I’m posting it again. Is there a way to match a book summary to an agent. I’m looking for something like #pitmad on twitter.

    Reply
    • Literary Agent News

      Hi Justin,

      It took me a moment to figure out what happened. You posted on two of my websites, so I responded to one (hopefully got the reply), and I deleted the other one, which was a duplicate.

      Here’s the reply I sent previously.

      ***

      I’m sorry but our website isn’t set up for that.

      You’ll find these two things helpful though, if you haven’t yet used them:

      How to Get a Literary Agent (NEW 15-Part Guide)
      https://getaliteraryagent.com/how-to-get-a-literary-agent/

      Literary Agent Database (Directory of Literary Agents)
      https://getaliteraryagent.com/literary-agent-database/

      And…

      If you want/need help with anything else, you can post at “Ask a Literary Agent” page at https://getaliteraryagent.com/ask-a-literary-agent/. I’ll always do what I can to point you in the right direction. And, on that same page, you’ll find my answers to the questions authors ask me most.

      All my best,

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      https://markmalatesta.com
      The Bestselling Author
      https://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      https://literary-agents.com

      Reply
  2. ANONYMOUS

    Good afternoon
    I have some manuscripts that exceed a thousand pages. How can I send them in English if I don’t speak the language and translators charge high fees to translate them?

    Reply
    • Literary Agent News

      Hi Ludmilla,

      Unfortunately, the only way to submit something to English-speaking literary agents is to submit it in English. So, if you want to do that, you’ll need to get your work translated. Or, at least, write your query letter in English and get the first 50 double-spaced pages or so of your first manuscript published. Then, if you get literary agent interest, you would have more reason to invest more to get the rest translated. If you aren’t able to afford translation, consider querying literary agents and/or publishers in the countries where the language your book is in, is spoken.

      All my best,

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      https://markmalatesta.com
      The Bestselling Author
      https://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      https://literary-agents.com

      Reply
  3. Janice Steele

    My book is self published. I have been approached to sell the movie rights to my book. I need a literary agent for book promotion. What should I include when querying an agent?

    Reply
    • Literary Agent News

      Hi Janice,

      Congratulations, that’s fantastic.

      And, re: your question, see here:

      How to Get a Literary Agent (NEW 15-Part Guide)
      https://getaliteraryagent.com/how-to-get-a-literary-agent/

      Literary Agent Database (Directory of Literary Agents)
      https://getaliteraryagent.com/literary-agent-database/

      Literary Agent Advice (1-on-1 Coaching/Consulting)
      https://getaliteraryagent.com/literary-agent-advice/

      If you want/need help with anything else, you can post again on my new “Ask a Literary Agent” page at https://getaliteraryagent.com/ask-a-literary-agent/.

      I’ll do what I can to help.

      All my best,

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      https://markmalatesta.com
      The Bestselling Author
      https://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      https://literary-agents.com

      Reply
  4. Anonymous

    In sending the consultation letter, should I mention the number of pages, words and with the manuscript already revised and with a pre-ready cover?

    Reply
    • Literary Agent News

      Hi Anonymous,

      If you mean query letter, you should enter the word count, not the page count, and you shouldn’t include a cover.

      See the following, you’ll find them helpful:

      How to Get a Literary Agent (NEW 15-Part Guide)
      https://getaliteraryagent.com/how-to-get-a-literary-agent/

      Literary Agent Database (Directory of Literary Agents)
      https://getaliteraryagent.com/literary-agent-database/

      And if you want/need help with anything else, you can post on my “Ask a Literary Agent” page at https://getaliteraryagent.com/ask-a-literary-agent/.

      All my best,

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      https://markmalatesta.com
      The Bestselling Author
      https://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      https://literary-agents.com

      Reply
  5. Michael Mathiesen

    How can I find a few reviewers for my new book, – available on Amazon in Kindle and Print ???

    All I need is a few good ones and sales should skyrocket.

    Would appreciate any help in this regard.

    Reply
    • Literary Agent News

      Hi Michael,

      I’m more familiar with traditional publishers, as in helping authors get literary agents who help them get major publishers. In that universe, the book publishers do a lot (most) of the work when it comes to getting book reviews. Their authors are expected to help, and there are many ways an author can do it. In short, you could send (or, better yet, ask for permission to send) a review copy of the book to influential/relevant: websites, blogs, newspapers, magazines, newsletters, journals, groups, organizations, and associations. Same things goes with authors, experts, etc. who are knowledgeable in your field. I don’t have an article about this online, but if you look on Google I’m sure you’ll find some articles and experts sharing additional information about this, that you’ll find valuable.

      All my best,

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      https://markmalatesta.com
      The Bestselling Author
      https://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      https://literary-agents.com

      Reply
  6. Dr. Rafie Hamidpour

    I would like about this agent?

    Mr. Jason W Wilder

    Reply
    • Literary Agent News

      Hi Dr. Hamidpour,

      You can find any/all information we have about each literary agent in our literary agent database here:

      Literary Agent Database (Directory of Literary Agents)
      https://getaliteraryagent.com/literary-agent-database/

      You might find this helpful as well:

      How to Get a Literary Agent (NEW 15-Part Guide)
      https://getaliteraryagent.com/how-to-get-a-literary-agent/

      And…

      If you want/need help with anything else, you can post at “Ask a Literary Agent” page at https://getaliteraryagent.com/ask-a-literary-agent/. I’ll always do what I can to point you in the right direction. And, on that same page, you’ll find my answers to the questions authors ask me most.

      All my best,

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      https://markmalatesta.com
      The Bestselling Author
      https://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      https://literary-agents.com

      Reply
  7. Valerie

    I have submitted my work to numerous agents. Today I received a hopeful reply from an agent who said I had “a wonderful story idea but they didn’t fall in love with my current draft, so they were stepping aside for now.” Does this mean I should revise my draft again and try to resubmit to that agent? Or should I move on? Thank you for your advice.

    Reply
    • Literary Agent News

      Hi Valerie,

      That’s great, and, in a situation like that, you can ask the literary agent if they’re open to considering a revised version. You might also ask if the literary agent is willing/able to share an additional detail or two re: what you might consider changing. There’s a good chance the literary agent won’t provide additional/helpful information, but there’s also a chance they might.

      If you want/need help with anything else, you can post on my “Ask a Literary Agent” page at https://getaliteraryagent.com/ask-a-literary-agent/.

      All my best,

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      https://markmalatesta.com
      The Bestselling Author
      https://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      https://literary-agents.com

      Reply

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How I Got My Book Agent

Successful Authors

Photo of author NJ sharing a Mark Malatesta review at Get a Literary Agent

Thanks in part to your query letter, manuscript suggestions, and support prioritizing agents, I received multiple offers from agents. Within two weeks of sending out the first query, I knew who I was going to sign with. I value our friendship.

N E L S O N . J O H N S O N

NY Times bestselling author of Boardwalk Empire, produced by Martin Scorsese for HBO, and Darrow's Nightmare: The Forgotten Story of America's Most Famous Trial Lawyer

NJ Book Cover for BE on boardwalk with cast from the HBO TV series, posted by Get a Literary Agent

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After following your advice, my book was acquired, the prestigious PW gave it a great review, and Time Magazine asked for an excerpt. Thank you for believing in my book, and for helping me share the surprising truth about women’s most popular body part!

L E S L I E . L E H R

Author of A Boob's Life: How America's Obsession Shaped Me―and You, published by Pegasus Books, distributed by Simon & Schuster and now in development for a TV series by Salma Hayek for HBO Max

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Fine Print Lit got publishers bidding against each other [for my book]. I ended up signing a contract with Thomas Nelson (an imprint of Harper Collins) for what I’ve been told by several people is a very large advance. What cloud is higher than 9?

S C O T T . L E R E T T E

Author of The Unbreakable Boy (Thomas Nelson/Harper Collins), adapted to feature film with Lionsgate starring Zachary Levi, Amy Acker, and Patricia Heaton

SL Book Cover for TUB with photo of boy on beach with jester hat at sunset, posted by Get a Literary Agent Guide

Photo of author MLP sharing a Mark Malatesta review at Get a Literary Agent

AHHH! OMG, it happened! You helped me get three offers for representation from top literary agents! A short time later I signed a publishing contract. After that, my agent sold my next book. I’m in heaven!

M I R I . L E S H E M . P E L L Y

Author/illustrator of Penny and the Plain Piece of Paper (Penguin Books/Philomel), Scribble & Author (Kane Miller), and other children’s picture books

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Find answers to all your book agent questions. Search our Ask a Literary Agent FAQ and/or post your question(s).

Photo of Mark Malatesta - Former Literary Agent MARK MALATESTA is a former literary agent turned author coach. Mark now helps authors of all genres (fiction, nonfiction, and children's books) get top literary agents, publishers, and book deals through his company Literary Agent Undercover and The Bestselling Author. Mark's authors have gotten six-figure book deals, been on the NYT bestseller list, and published with houses such as Random House, Scholastic, and Thomas Nelson. Click here to learn more about Mark Malatesta and see Mark Malatesta Reviews.

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