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98 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Vision
Added 9/27/07:
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!

From 8/1/06:
Reading Michael Larsen's HOW TO GET A LITERARY AGENT scoured the last remaining romantic...
Published on July 31, 2006 by Scott Kenan

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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Completely misleading title. Should be called "Do you already HAVE a Literary Agent?" Great, here's some funny stories.
It bothers me that this book is titled "How to get a Literary Agent" when precisely 0% of it is devoted to getting a Literary Agent. Instead it has a lot of filler like "A writer's bill of right" and other such fluff, which isn't even remotely helpful to an aspiring writer. Imagine if you bought a book titled "How to bake a cake", and the entirety of the book was...
Published on June 7, 2010 by Amazon Customer


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98 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Vision, July 31, 2006
By 
Scott Kenan (Wilmington, NC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: How to Get a Literary Agent (Paperback)
Added 9/27/07:
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!

From 8/1/06:
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.
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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Need a Literary Agent? Here's Your Bible!, April 4, 2007
This review is from: How to Get a Literary Agent (Paperback)
For a comprehensive, highly informative, and often humorous guide to getting your book published, you cannot do better than Michael Larsen's terrific How to Get a Literary Agent. A successful literary agent for the past 35 years, Larsen knows exactly what he's talking about. His book is encouraging and empowering to the writer while also revealing the often harsh realities and complexities of the publishing world.

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.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Completely misleading title. Should be called "Do you already HAVE a Literary Agent?" Great, here's some funny stories., June 7, 2010
By 
Amazon Customer (St. George, UT, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How to Get a Literary Agent (Paperback)
It bothers me that this book is titled "How to get a Literary Agent" when precisely 0% of it is devoted to getting a Literary Agent. Instead it has a lot of filler like "A writer's bill of right" and other such fluff, which isn't even remotely helpful to an aspiring writer. Imagine if you bought a book titled "How to bake a cake", and the entirety of the book was devoted to amusing stories about cakes, but never giving you a recipe for making one yourself.

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.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to Get a Literary Agent, February 25, 2008
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This review is from: How to Get a Literary Agent (Paperback)
As a relatively new author who has recently completed my first novel, I found the book very informative about the process one needs to know and understand to connect with a literary agent. Michael's no nonsense explanation of understanding what agents deal with, what publishers seek, gives the reader a comprehensive idea of the real world of getting your work published. He also illustrates the value of protecting your rights and provides concrete descriptions of what you should know when negotiating with agents and publishers. I feel I can begin my search for an agent with a better foundation by having read this book.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important little book packed with information, April 6, 2008
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This review is from: How to Get a Literary Agent (Paperback)
I read this book in the same way I would read a fiction novel, it was that enjoyable to read. Michael Larsen's writing style is humorous and easy to read. He inspires in a truthful way, letting you know the downsides to publishing and finding an agent as well. I finished this book in one day, and i'll be going back to it often to re-read the majority of it. It's jam packed with tips and relevant information that help you understand the whole process of getting the agent, what the agent does for you, how the entire publishing process works, and details what they usually do to market your book.

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.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable Guidance!, July 1, 2009
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This review is from: How to Get a Literary Agent (Paperback)
This is a "must-read" for any unpublished author. In a style both enlightening and entertaining, veteran literary agent and author, Michael Larsen, details all the necessary facts aspiring published authors need to have to determine if getting an agent and/or having a book published with an established firm is worth all the "trade-off's" that kind of arrangement requires. Wow! There were so many important details for me to consider that I would never have known without reading this book. In my own case, this book led me to the choice to have my small reference book created as a booklet first. I may, in the future, decide to self-publish or go for a more traditional agent/publisher arrangement. If I do so, I have the benefit of having all the facts about what to expect and how to negotiate terms. My deep gratitude to Michael Larsen for offering this outstanding guideline.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise and Complete, May 20, 2008
By 
H. Edwards (Bangkok Thailand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How to Get a Literary Agent (Paperback)
This book gives a step by step approach to selecting and approaching Agents. There is a template for writing the query letter, things to look for when searching for an agent and some advice on writing. More importantly it gives a list of the things that will put an Agent off almost immediately like comparing yourself to Tolstoy and repeated calls to check if they received your submission for example .

What is 'missing' from this book is a list of Publishers and Agents, and for that I recommend Jeff Herman's book because it gives what they want in their own words in the Agents section.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top of the Line Information, March 26, 2008
This review is from: How to Get a Literary Agent (Paperback)
I ordered two books on getting an agent. The other book had a listing of reputable agents which was helpful but I still had a lot of unanswered questions. "How to get a Literary Agent" is very informative as to why one needs an agent as well as the process to enhance one's chances of doing so. I really feel that every writer who has a book that is selling well should try to get an agent and this book will certainly be of great value in the process.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Literary Agents, Literary Truths, April 3, 2010
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This review is from: How to Get a Literary Agent (Paperback)
This book maps the publishing/agenting landscape like few books I've read. Although consistently encouraging, Larsen does not pull his punches about the problems new writers may have breaking in, why it may be difficult to find an agent regardless of the quality of the work, the many, many ways new writers can undercut their best efforts, and the many, many more ways new writers can enhance their chances of lasting success. This book ought to be included in every registration packet at every writers conference.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Draws the veil on the book business, demystifies the process, November 26, 2009
This review is from: How to Get a Literary Agent (Paperback)
I bought this book after attending the San Francisco Writer's Conference, organized annually by Mr. Larsen and his wife, who own a literary agency. Mr Larsen is street-smart and funny, fast with a quip and shrewd. Now, I wish he had become my agent, but that may very well have been a wise choice on his part :-)

The book describes a lot about the book business that any aspiring wirter needs to know. As a writer, you must fall in love with your book - you have to do so, or else you would never see it to adulthood. But when it gets to the point of being published, the writer is then left with a mystery: what next? It is a shock to realize that under capitalism, there is *nobody in charge* of the book business; the decisions to publish or promote are made by a conglomeration of people who see the books in a very different way than the author does. And so, every author needs to learn about this.

Mr Larsen draws the veil that hides this from public view, in an entertaining and educational way. bravo!

Mr. Larsen's "pitch workshop" at the SFWC was, in and of itself, worth the price of admission I paid for the whole event.
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How to Get a Literary Agent
How to Get a Literary Agent by Michael Larsen (Paperback - April 1, 2006)
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