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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.

1,238 Comments

  1. François Beyens

    I have written several books. I am looking for a litterary agent who also takes care of having one translated from french to english

    Reply
    • Literary Agent News

      Hi Francois,

      You can get a literary agent using the guide and directory below, which includes all literary agents seeking clients:

      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/

      The database doesn’t have a special category or indicator, however, unfortunately, showing which literary agents are open or more open to works that need translation.

      If you want/need help with anything else, you can post here at https://getaliteraryagent.com/ask-a-literary-agent/.

      I’ll do what I can to point you in the right direction.

      All my best,

      – Mark

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

  2. Violetta

    Hello
    It seems as if all your (very useful sounding) advice is geared toward novels. I write short stories. Do you have any thoughts about getting into that arena?
    I know the market for them is much smaller than ever, but I have heard that the erotica genre remains healthy. I write what I call “adult fiction for adults who think” which means that while it’s not Hallmark Hall of Fame in that they always end up in bed (or the kitchen table, or wherever), it is also definitely not 50 Shades of a toxic relationship.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Literary Agent News

      Hi Violetta,

      Yes, yes, full-length novels and nonfiction books. There is a market for short stories, but not many literary agents represent them. Yo u can ind them, however, in our literary agent directory, here:

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

      You’ll also find this helpful:

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

      If you want/need help with anything else, you can post here at https://getaliteraryagent.com/ask-a-literary-agent/.

      I’ll do what I can to point you in the right direction.

      All my best,

      – Mark

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

  3. VM

    Do you have any advice for those looking for horror literary agents? I’ve self published with some success but looking to make the jump to traditional.

    Reply
    • Literary Agent News

      Hi VM,

      Yes, see here, and there’s nothing you need to do differently when pitching horror vs another genre:

      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 here at https://getaliteraryagent.com/ask-a-literary-agent/.

      I’ll do what I can to point you in the right direction.

      All my best,

      – Mark

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

  4. Sean Lindsay Armstrong

    Hi, hope that you are well?

    I wanted to know if someone could help me with getting an agent as I am looking for representation for my book series? Currently I have written a book proposal which contains information on the series as well as listing my books. Thank you for your time. Kind regards, Sean Armstrong

    Reply
    • Literary Agent News

      Hi Sean,

      Yes, that’s what we do.

      Here are some other things you’ll 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/

      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 here at https://getaliteraryagent.com/ask-a-literary-agent/.

      I’ll do what I can to point you in the right direction.

      All my best,

      – Mark

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

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Get free instant access to the official Directory of Literary Agents, and our article/audio training library. Click here to see all that’s included in our Getting a Literary Agent resource center.

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

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

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

LL Book Cover posted by Get a Literary Agent Guide

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

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

MLP book cover of S and A with paintbrush drawing cute animated figured, posted by Get a Literary Agent Guide

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

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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