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Steps in Finding a Literary Agent for Children’s Books
There are different categories for children’s books. There are picture books, middle grade and young-adult books. Children’s book writers who want to see their books published often ask if they should seek the help of a literary agent. Collaborating with an agent comes in handy and saves the writer a lot of work.
So the question arises, how to find a literary agent for a children’s book?
There are different ways to find the right literary agent for your type of work. The easiest solution is to sign up and search websites such as Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustration and Children’s Writers and Illustrator’s Market. The literary agents listed in those sites are legitimate and have multiple clients.
Avoid getting scammed by fake agents who advertise themselves on free sites such as Craigslist and who have no portfolios. Genuine agents often work for a literary agency and they have websites of their own. Portfolios and lists of clients are readily available on their website.
Another solution is to search bookstores for books in the same genre as yours. Take note of books that have similar topics and target audiences as yours. Browse the book’s dedication page. Writers often include their literary agent in the list of the people they thank. Write down the name of the agent and publishing house and search for them online.
Reputable literary agents have a strong presence online and a credible list of work. Choose at least three agents. Research on the kind of genres they've handled and the authors they've worked with. In that way, you’ll get an idea of their expertise and interest.
Do research on your prospective literary agents. Most likely you’ll find information about their work history in sites such as LinkedIn and Google+. Evaluate their previous and recent clients to see if you belong in the same category. What type of literature do they specialize in? Find a common ground with your potential agent.
Attending writer and publisher’s summits is another way to meet literary agents. These events allow writers to interact with agents and publishers. It’s a good way to meet literary agents with different backgrounds in the writing industry.
Meeting new people expands your network. They may not be able to help you directly, but they can refer you to another agent who might. Maintain professional relationships with agents and editors you meet at writing expos since you never know how these people can help you in the future.
You can also look into writers' forums and networking sites such as WritersCafe.org. You can interact with fellow writers and ask them how their experience was. You can ask other authors how they found their literary agents. Ask for referrals or if they can recommend a specific literary agency.
Talking to fellow writers with experience in getting their book published is a big help. They can give you advice on what you should do, what you should avoid and other important details you need to know when choosing a literary agent.