How to Find an Agent for Your Children's Book Manuscript

Many publishers won't look at a manuscript unless it is represented by an agent. Before you can publish your book and become the next Lewis Carrol or J.K. Rowling, you need to find the right agent for your book.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Submit the best Write and revise your children's book manuscript until it is perfect. Submit a piece only if it is your best.
  • Step 2: Network Get your name known by networking. Attend writing conferences, and join groups such as the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
  • TIP: Attract attention and gain experience by submitting stories to children's magazines interested in new writers.
  • Step 3: Search listings Use literary market listings to find agents, such as the Literary Market Place and the Writer's Market. These listings often specify what market the agent is interested in.
  • Step 4: Evaluate potential agents Form a list of potential agents that specialize in children's books. Look for agents who have represented works similar to yours; consider how many works they have sold, their years of experience, and their publisher contacts.
  • Step 5: Write a query letter Write a query letter that briefly introduces you and the book, and grabs the attention of the agent. The letter should be one page, typed, and single-spaced; check the spelling and include your contact information.
  • Step 6: Follow directions Read the requirements for contacting the agent as specified in the market listings or online on the agency's website. Contact your list of ideal agents and follow their directions exactly.
  • Step 7: Include SASE Include a self-addressed stamped envelope, often referred to as a SASE, for the agent's response.
  • Step 8: Keep trying Be prepared for rejection. Keep submitting until you find the right agent for your children's book manuscript.
  • FACT: According to a list of sales compiled by Publishers Weekly, E.B. White's classic children's book Charlotte's Web has sold over 9 million paperback copies.

You Will Need

  • Talent
  • Literary market listings
  • Internet access
  • Printer
  • Paper
  • Envelopes
  • Stamps

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