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How to Find a Genuine Literary Agent

Finding a literary agent can be very rewarding. With the help of a literary agent, you can get in touch with publishers without having to approach them directly. Your agent will handle this for you, allowing you to focus more on your writing. This partnership benefits both parties, as you, the writer, get fame and recognition (as well as money) while your agent gets commission from the sales generated from books sold. It’s a win-win situation indeed!

However, there are many unprofessional people out there posing as literary agents and preying on writers, especially new ones wanting to make it big on the writing scene. They make contact with these writers, promising to help them climb the ranks of famous authors like J.K. Rowling and others while asking only a small commission. Naturally, new authors might take up such offers without knowing the consequences.

So how can you as a new writer avoid fake literary agents? Here are some tips for you to find out if you are dealing with a fake or a genuine literary agent:

Genuine literary agents are often members of well-known writing communities.

Literary agents often make it a point to join both local and international writing communities. They do this because they want to find writers they believe will be successful. If you find a literary agent that is, for example, a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives, this is a positive sign that you are dealing with a legit literary agent.

Genuine literary agents will not collect upfront fees.

Literary agents will only collect money from you after they have provided you with the needed services (i.e. talking to publishers, helping you with your manuscripts, etc.). If you find an agent that asks for upfront fees, or a reading fee, end all contact with them and look for another agent.

Genuine literary agents will not charge you extra for other services.

Literary agents will represent and talk to publishers for you, advise in polishing your manuscript, help you submit that manuscript, and convince the publisher to print your work. They will not charge extra fees for this, as the commission they will gain from the book sales covers all these aspects.

Genuine literary agents will stay in touch with you every step of the way.

Literary agents know that they will not get money if the writer they are representing is not successful. They will assist you in every way just to make sure you achieve this goal. After all, if you manage to make it big and become a famous author, they will benefit, as well as pocket a good sum of money.

Remember to look out for these things whenever you contact a literary agent, as you wouldn’t want to waste your time and money by getting in touch with someone with questionable intentions.