3 low cost ways to meet agents and publishers

3 low cost ways to meet agents and publishers

These days it is common knowledge that it is difficult to find an agent or an editor through an unsolicited email. They are more likely to pay attention to a presentation from someone they have met in person. To that end, writers flock to conferences so they can spend time with live agents and editors. And that's great. I think writers should go out and make contacts. But those conferences can be expensive. It is better to combine attending conferences with some other strategies that are easier for your wallet. Here are 3 that you may find useful.

1.) Attend author readings

Keep track of writers who work similarly to yours. When they are close, hear them read. Sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes the agent and the author's editor will be in the audience. If they are not, see if you can steal a few moments with the writer and ask who he works with and if they are satisfied with the experience. You can request a presentation or contact people on your own. If you are going to do the first, first develop a relationship with the writer and stay in touch. They may not feel comfortable referring to their agent or editor immediately, but as they get to know you and your work, an introduction may be a possibility.

2.) Attend classes offered by continuing education groups such as the Learning Annex

Agents and publishers are in the business of finding the next popular writer and making a name for themselves in the publishing world. That's why you will often find agents and publishers who teach classes related to their work in places like The Learning Annex, which has locations in New York City, Stringer, founder and executive director of Triple Crown Publications. The courses can cost as little as $ 30 or $ 40 and last approximately three hours, so you have time to find out if the instructor can help you or indicate the direction of someone who can do it.

Remember that the agent or publisher probably has aspiring authors delivering manuscripts all the time, so be sure to stand out from the package. Have a murderous consultation letter and a synopsis (if your book is a novel) or a book proposal (for nonfiction works). You will make a great impression simply because you are not making them carry a gigantic 500-page house in their briefcase!

3.) Look for agents and publishers that have their own personal websites

When you find the name of an agent or publisher that may be appropriate for you, Google to see if they have their own websites with email addresses that may be different from their corporate mailboxes. Some are authors (such as literary agent Donald Maass, author of Writing the Breakout Novel) and have their own books to promote. Email them and, again, try to develop a relationship and get an idea of   what they are working on and what they are looking for. It is better to know as specifically as possible before going through the trouble of making a presentation. I recently heard about a writer who submitted to an agent in search of African-American authors, but in reality the agent was looking for African-American authors who wrote urban

One last note: these ideas should help you get started and I hope they inspire you to try other creative routes. It becomes easier because you will discover that as you go to more events and tell more people what you are doing,