Most literary agents require a submission letter and samples of your work in order to decide if your writing is the right fit for them. How you address the agent in your letter could be a make or break point with the agent not even reading your story line.
When submitting to a literary agent be sure to know WHO you’re sending your letter to. The first put off, for me, as an agent is to receive a query letter addressed to another person. It means you didn’t take the time to look over your work before you submitted. Does that translate into your work as well?
Look on the agent’s website to see what is required for submission. There are various requirements. None of us use the same format for submission. Please make sure to know what those are for each agency you’re submitting.
If you’re emailing your submission to an agent please make sure to address the correctly in the email. Use your manners. Greet them nicely and then let them know who you are.
The following is what I prefer to see in the submission email:
- Your Name
- What genre you write and which you’re submitting to me.
- What books you’ve written and published thus far.
- Why you’re looking for an agent.
- Why do you think I’m the agent you’d like to work with.
- Attachments of story/synopsis.
If you were recommended to query the agent by a peer or someone they currently or previously worked with please let them know that in the email as well. Make it concise.
Mark on your calendar when you submitted to which agencies. Some will have listed their answer turnaround time for submissions. Patience is necessary in this process. There’s one agent and many authors vying for attention.
If an agent turns down your submission – don’t let that stop you. It just means you’re not the right person for them or if they gave you suggestions see what you can do to work on incorporating them for better success. Don’t let it get you down. Use it to make you better.
Good luck in submitting! If at first you don’t succeed – try, try again.
*Note: SBR Media no longer accepts email submissions. All must be submitted through http://queryme.online/SBRMedia
Stephanie Phillips is the owner of SBR Media, LLC. A literary agency for Romance Authors. She represents over 30 authors in their quest for rights sold and career building. When she’s not reading or working you can find her spending time with her husband and two children.