In the early 1990s, I started my first novel because I wanted to write the type of book I wanted to read, but couldn’t seem to find in the shops and though I started my second novel (Chloë) once I’d finished my first (Sally), even though I didn’t have an agent, let alone a deal – publication was, of course, my ultimate goal.
- Don’t approach a publisher directly – many will not read ‘unsolicited’ manuscripts. If a publisher is sent your work with an agent’s seal of approval, they sit up and take notice.
- Do seek out a copy of The Writers & Artists Yearbook as this lists all literary agents. Choose an agency that represents authors you like. Find out which agents there represent those authors and then approach them when you are confident enough that your work is polished enough to be read by the experts.
- Keep your synopsis short and tempting – akin to the ‘copy’ (blurb) you find on the back of a book and either submit your first three chapters – or your three best chapters. The idea is to have the agent gagging for more…
- SPELL CHECK SPELL CHECK SPELL CHECK!