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How to Get a Literary Agent
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Top Customer Reviews
I posted this review 8/1/06 and then stopped looking for an agent until 6/15/07 when I had written 2 more drafts and implemented many of Michael's ideas. The next agent I contacted signed me 3 weeks after that. Thanks Michael!
Reading Michael Larsen's HOW TO GET A LITERARY AGENT scoured the last remaining romantic notions about publishing from my head and replaced them with a clear idea of how the publishing industry works. I have read several books on crafting query letters, proposals, finding agents, etc. This is the only one that tells the story of the whole industry and has taken me from butting my head against a dense citadel to seeing inside and not just understanding how all the very human parts work, but seeing the bigger picture and my important place as a writer.
Perhaps the best thing about Mr. Larsen's book is the great love he has for his work as an agent and the respect and love he has for everyone involved in writing and publishing books. While he is relentless in telling the sobering truth about the industry, his infectious enthusiasm for every aspect of it: the creative process, the editing and selling, the making of careers, and especially the books, comes through on every page. Every myth dispelled is replaced by a vision of new possibilities.
As a writer (and no, I do not know Mr. Larsen, nor have I ever attempted to contact him), I am grateful for the tools he gives, but more importantly, for the encouragement such a well conceived and well written book gives. So far, I've spent a few years on my first book, and at a moment when my energy was flagging, this book re-energized me and expanded my vision, reminding me of all the best reasons I am writing.
Not only does Larsen describe in detail what an agent actually does, how to find the right agent for your work, and the best way to approach and create a successful ongoing relationship with that person, but he also gives a crash course in how the whole book industry works. This is invaluable because the savvy writer who really understands the publishing industry is much better able to write, package, and position her books for maximal success.
Larsen also helps you clarify your publishing and life goals in order to focus and revitalize your work. With the addition of a friendly tone and an easy to read text, How to Get a Literary Agent is the perfect book to motivate and guide the would-be professional writer as well as anyone interested in the publishing process.
Clearly, the author knew what people WANTED to know, because he named his book "how to get a literary agent." The problem is that he never bothers to tell you. I already knew that "start a career in writing is challenging". The fact is that starting a career in ANY field is challenging. Want to be a doctor? It's challenging. Want to be an astronaut? It's challenging. Even if your life's goal is to be a Hobo, odds are that you'll find starting that career to be challenging. I really don't need to be told that what I'm attempting is hard. I know that already. What I want is tools and information that will allow me to move forward with my chosen path, no matter how hard it might happen to be. Unfortunately, this book doesn't do that.
Reading this book before you're done writing your novel, or while you're querying agents, will give you an edge. You'll want to start formulating plans on how to market yourself, and the earlier you do this, the better off you'll be when you finally obtain an agent.
While I wouldn't make this your only purchase on the subject, it is a necessity. This book along with Putting Your Passion Into Print, will help you understand just about everything you need to know about the publishing process. You will most likely need other ones for sample queries and proposals.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well, Michael Larsen, you are a real pro when it comes to "how to sell a book,"
and your "How to Get a Literary Agent" reflects the same cutting edge... Read more
I have not as yet read this book, but it looks good. I'm not quite ready for a literary agent at this time. Book in good shape.Published on April 30, 2014 by Liza Kimball
Michael Larsen's book is a detailed, specific, and comprehensive resource dealing with every aspect of publishing, agenting and pursuing a career as a creative writer whether in... Read morePublished on March 13, 2014 by Dennis Weiser
Tho listed as "Condition: Used - Good," the book was in perfect condition (except for one dogeared page). Read morePublished on November 30, 2013 by Jack Mackay
I met Michael Larsen and liked him so I bought his book. It is a chatty, friendly book that makes one believe that the job of getting a literary agent might be like the job of... Read morePublished on November 26, 2013 by lovesbooks2
I got the book in a timely fashion and it is full of useful information. Agents are the professionals who have the necessary contacts.Published on November 5, 2013 by Jesse Arras
I just downloaded the Kindle version of what I am sure is a terrific book. However, the Kindle version does not offer a table of contents which makes it impossible to access the... Read morePublished on October 28, 2013 by Carolyn M. Campbell
Coming from other country, where I have published several books but knowing nothing from the american publishing market, this book was extremely helpful. Read morePublished on October 10, 2013 by Ken Dershowitz