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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 BOOK 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.

82 Comments

  1. Majid Ghaboosi

    I have completed a screenplay and would like to be represented by a Screenplay literary agent.

    Reply
    • Literary Agent News

      Hi Majid,

      Here are some things you might find helpful:

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

      Two articles about books for TV or movies:

      https://literary-agents.com/literary-agents-publishing-screenplay/

      https://literary-agents.com/literary-agents-managers-cinematic-writing/

      And…

      If you want/need help with anything else, you can post on my new “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. Paul Vincent Rapisarda

    If you already self-published on Amazon and have an ASIN, but, don’t have an ISBN does that go against you?

    Reply
    • Literary Agent News

      Hi Paul,

      If it’s on Amazon and self-published, that’s what will matter. And not all agents will say no to books previously published. Keep that in mind. It is what it is. You still have a chance.

      And…

      If you want/need help with anything else, you can post on my new “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
  3. Tom Murphy

    Do you work with authors of screenplays?

    Reply
    • Literary Agent News

      Hi Tom,

      I don’t, unfortunately, as I’m not as knowledgeable about those as much as books.

      However, you might find the following helpful:

      https://literary-agents.com/literary-agents-publishing-screenplay/

      https://literary-agents.com/literary-agents-managers-cinematic-writing/

      And…

      If you want/need help with anything else, you can post on my new “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
  4. Claude Gruen

    I have published a book and some of my readers have suggested its story would make a good movie or television series. Can you recommend an agent who would represent me before film studios and streaming organizations such as Netflix?

    Reply
    • Literary Agent News

      Hi Claude,

      Here are some things you might find 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/

      Two articles about books for TV or movies:

      https://literary-agents.com/literary-agents-publishing-screenplay/

      https://literary-agents.com/literary-agents-managers-cinematic-writing/

      And…

      If you want/need help with anything else, you can post on my new “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
  5. ken goss

    I am a 73 year old retired engineer living on SS plus savings. I have no money to invest in publishing & marketing a book. I have drafted a book on divine creation which identifies 27 key points where the narrative of creation in the Bible matches the story of origins told by science. Proof readers have told me it is very interesting. How does a guy with no money get an interesting book published?

    Reply
    • Literary Agent News

      Hi Ken,

      You only need to spend time (not money) to get a literary agent.

      To that end, you’ll likely find the following 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 new “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
  6. Harris Wolfson

    Two Questions:
    I believe my novel has an incredible, unforgettable title; should I copyright the unpublished novel before submitting it to a literary agent?

    Also, my novel is mostly based on a true story, but not completely. What genre should I classify it as, non-fiction, or fiction?

    Reply
    • Literary Agent News

      Hi Harris,

      You can certainly copyright the book, but not the title, unfortunately. You can trademark it though. And if the book is a novel based on true events, that’s how you should classify it when pitching it.

      You’ll also likely find the following helpful, if you haven’t seen it yet:

      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 new “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. Ben L Seegmiller

    I have read (twice) your 15-step guide to getting a Literary Agent. I am currently on a 16-day cruise in the Canary Islands and will return to Salt Lake City just before Thanksgiving. My Question: Do you still offer the review of my “One Page” letter to hopefully get a Literary Agent? How much is the current price for you doing the review?

    Sincerely Yours~

    Ben L. Seegmiller

    Reply
    • Literary Agent News

      Hi Ben,

      Enjoy the cruise, travel safe, and yes…re: your question…see here:

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

      And…

      If you want/need help with anything else, you can post on my new “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

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How I Got My Book Agent

Successful Authors

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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

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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

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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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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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