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How to Land (and Keep) a Literary Agent [Kindle Edition]

Noah Lukeman
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"Noah Lukeman, one of the top literary agents in New York, gave writers a great gift."
--James Frey (regarding The Plot Thickens)

"This will certainly help writers of any kind defeat rejection and possibly score." (regarding The First Five Pages)

Many books have been written about how to get published. But few have been written by literary agents, who receive thousands of submissions each year and who grapple with them on a daily basis. Even fewer have been written by active literary agents who are willing to write from the trenches and offer their perspective on why they reject manuscripts, and why they accept them. And no books have been written from an agent's perspective on what it's like, step by step, to work with an agent on a daily basis, and on how to assure that you maintain a long, happy working relationship with your agent.

How to Land (and Keep) a Literary Agent is the first book written from an active literary agent's perspective that teaches authors why agents reject or accept manuscripts; why they decide to represent certain authors and not represent others; the best way to approach agents; the best way to work with an agent on a daily basis; and that offers them dozens of specific resources to make the difference in their finally finding the perfect agents for their work.

New York literary agent Noah Lukeman, President of Lukeman Literary Management Ltd, has represented multiple New York Times bestsellers, winners of the Pulitzer Prize and American Book Award, National Book Award Finalists, and has himself written three critically-acclaimed books on the craft of writing, The First Five Pages, The Plot Thickens, and A Dash of Style. During his last 13 years as a literary agent he has read thousands of manuscripts and represented hundreds of book deals, and in this book he shares his insider's perspective, offers insight and practical tips about what works and what doesn’t.

How to Land (and Keep) a Literary Agent is a must-read for any author serious about getting published. Geared for a broad range of authors, its subject matter is relevant to authors of fiction and non-fiction, screenwriters, poets--any serious author--offering principles that will help lead to success no matter what your craft. Practical and engaging, filled with exercises, anecdotes and sidebars, this 200 plus page book takes you on a journey, and will bring you that much closer to finally landing a literary agent.

How to Land (and Keep) a Literary Agent includes:

* 10 Reasons Why You Need an Agent
* 9 Steps to Building Your Bio (for Fiction)
* 8 Ways to Build Your Non-Fiction Platform
* 13 Factors to Consider When Evaluating an Agent
* 24 Free Resources for Researching Agents
* 11 Fee-Based Resources for Researching Agents
* The 4 Musts of Submitting
* 4 Keys to Successful Follow Up
* 3 Resources to Protect you from Agent Scams
* 5 Ways an Agent Can Take Advantage of You
* To Use a Book Doctor?
* 7 Ways to Protect Yourself in an Agency Agreement
* To Hire an Attorney?
* What it’s Like to Work With an Agent (a Step-by-Step Timeline)
* A Publication Timeline Chart
* 15 Ways to Assure a Great Relationship With Your Agent
* 6 Reasons to Drop Your Agent
* To Self Publish?

"Lukeman’s advice is practical—and often entails multiple, time-consuming steps—without a hint of the flakiness that creeps into many writing guides."
--Publishers Weekly (regarding The Plot Thickens)

This 100,000 word file includes two additional books written by Mr. Lukeman--HOW TO WRITE A GREAT QUERY LETTER and ASK A LITERARY AGENT--for free!

Product Details

  • File Size: 575 KB
  • Print Length: 339 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003Z9JOXC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,932 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book helped me get my first agent. January 4, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
How to land and keep a literary agent is not just another empty book filled with unrealistic promises. It is written by a very well known literary agent who provided a real inside look into how literary agents work and think--providing the reasons why it is so darn hard to get an agent, and, once realized, exactly how to overcome that. I followed author's advice to a tee, and soon I was getting read by literary agents, they were actually reading and considering my work. I had to be persistent, or course, but once I realized how to go about getting consideration, I knew it was just a matter of time before an agent would represent me. It took me 9 months, and now I am represented by a literary agent, contract and all.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Noah Lukeman! October 7, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After spending the last month pounding the internet for information on how to find an agent I stumbled across this Kindle book. In one afternoon I learned more than the previous thirty and I now feel I have a clear idea of the tools, method, and goal. Concisely written so it doesn't waste any time getting down to the essentials. I highly recommend this if you've never done an agent search before.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Just another barrier to entry written by a gate-keeper to the writing world, except this one has grammatical and spelling errors every chapter or two. Really reads like a self-published pile of claptrap.

I do like Mr. Lukeman's tips on writing a query letter, in fact I'd consider them axiomatic, but this book is outdated and for the most part a waste of time. As an example: his extensive coverage of postal submissions and SASEs... not anymore, pal. These days, 99% of agents want you to e-mail your queries and your submissions.

In short, if you're a budding writer, find a new book on this subject if you value any possibility of a career! Here's a suggestion: a book called I HATE LITERARY AGENTS by U.B. Red. Great book, up to date, and has more info in the first ten pages than most every other book on the subject combined. Here's a link to it: I HATE LITERARY AGENTS
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative March 12, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well written and most informative. Trying to secure representation of an agent needs all the help you can get and this book gives some excellent idea's on how to go about it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected December 28, 2012
By Debra
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thought there would be more concrete advice that you can't find on the internet and more stuff about query letters. Not a bad book, but not sure how helpful this will be.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Extremly Helpful Sourcebook June 27, 2014
By Jaka
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book is very helpful, though it's not easy to satisfy all suggested conditions. Unfortunately, the author doesn't accept any more clients.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Tips June 5, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a great resource if you know for sure that your ideal agent feels the same as this writer. The book was, however, full of useful tips for finding and keeping an agent, and it works well with the companion query letter book.bbdefinitely worth a read at the least.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What writers must know June 5, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Too many authors give up getting their work published because the first 2 or 3 publishers turn them down. Or, they don't hear back in a month. Wrong! Mr. Lukeman shows you how to find an agent and what to expect when you do. There is a science to it and more hard work than you expected. It is doable and this book gives you the details to make it happen.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Important info for writers
Very informative; important understanding for a writer to have so as to know the some of the dynamics of getting a book in print and how the publishing world works. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Steve R
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it.
Good book!
Published 1 month ago by Dr. Kitty Bickford
3.0 out of 5 stars Not sure
OK for newbie authors, but some content may be misleading. Maybe just needs to be updated. I leaned more from Agent blogs and Facebook.
Published 1 month ago by Lara Corbin
5.0 out of 5 stars Great advice
Advice from someone who really knows what he's talking about.
Published 2 months ago by Jack Scribble
5.0 out of 5 stars Cold, hard advice
Very helpful and practical. I would recommend it.
Published 2 months ago by James Owen
5.0 out of 5 stars How to Land (and Keep) a Literary Agent
Invaluable information for writers. I applaud the author for sharing his expertise.
Published 3 months ago by jane caboto
5.0 out of 5 stars Great advice
This was a very easy read with easy to understand examples and advice. I also download the free extra piece from the website, there are some more gems in this piece too.
Published 4 months ago by K. Green
4.0 out of 5 stars A must read for the new author
Lukeman's book is notable in its content fashioned for the up and coming author. An easy read which packs a powerful message. Read more
Published 5 months ago by charlee harris
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Information
Noah Lukeman knows the industry, and shares his knowledge generously. Highly recommend the book to anyone looking for a literary agent.
Published 5 months ago by Lori Nelson Spielman
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative!
This book was very informative with some great usefull advice. Well written and easy to understand. The author explains in great detail the steps needed to find an. Agent.
Published 5 months ago by Book Reader
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More About the Author

Noah Lukeman is author of A Dash of Style: The Art and Mastery of Punctuation (WW Norton and Oxford University Press), to be published in April, 2006. He is also author of the bestsellers The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying out of the Rejection Pile (Simon & Schuster, 1999), and The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life (St. Martins Press, 2002), a BookSense 76 Selection, a Publishers Weekly Daily pick, and a selection of the Writers Digest Book Club. He has also worked as a collaborator, and is co-author, with Lieutenant General Michael "Rifle" DeLong, USMC, Ret., of Inside CentCom (Regnery, 2004), a Main Selection of the Military Book Club. His Op-Ed pieces (with General DeLong) have been published in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. He has also contributed to Poets & Writers, Writers Digest, The Writer, AWP Chronicle and The Writers Market, and has been anthologized in The Practical Writer (Viking, 2004). Foreign editions of his books have been published in the UK and in Portugese, Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Indonesian.
Noah Lukeman is President of Lukeman Literary Management Ltd, a New York based literary agency, which he founded in 1996. His clients include winners of the Pulitzer Prize, American Book Award, Pushcart Prize and O. Henry Award, finalists for the National Book Award, Edgar Award, Pacific Rim Prize, multiple New York Times bestsellers, national journalists, major celebrities, and faculty of universities ranging from Harvard to Stanford. He has worked as a Manager in the New York office of Artists Management Group, and has worked for another New York literary agency. Prior to becoming an agent he worked on the editorial side of several major publishers, including William Morrow and Farrar, Straus, Giroux, and as editor of a literary magazine.
He has been a guest speaker on the subjects of writing and publishing at numerous forums, including the Wallace Stegner writing program at Stanford University and the Writers Digest Conference at BookExpo America. He currently teaches a course online at Writers University. He earned his B.A. with High Honors in English and Creative Writing from Brandeis University, cum laude.


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