redundant words and/or phrases. Watch for “nodded (his
head)” or “thought (to himself).” The words
in parentheses are redundant and should be omitted. Likewise,
there are “lift (up),” “shrugged (his shoulders)”
and others that tend to be sore spots for many editors.
words that contribute nothing to a sentence’s meaning. One such
common word is “that.” Read your sentence without a suspicious
word; if the meaning is clear without the suspected word, drop
agents are not regulated by licensing or certification, therefore
it's easy to enter the field. The difficult part is gaining the
publisher contacts necessary to negotiate contracts.
anything else, there are good literary agents and bad literary agents.
Getting an agent alone is not good enough. He or she has to be the
right agent for you.
book doctors, professional literary agents are highly specialized.
No one is knowledgeable enough of every category of publishing or
is acquainted with every editor in the industry. The right agent
for you is one who specializes in your particular category of writing.
He/She knows how to evaluate the marketability of your manuscripts
and knows specifically which publishers could be most interested.
Look for agents who represent the fewest number of categories
possible. Some tend to spread themselves too thin over a broad
range of categories. Those who focus on the fewest categories
are likely to be the best experts in each.
Be sure that both you and your potential agent agree up front
how the arrangement may be eventually terminated.
learn more about Writing For Publication, consider online workshops.
SERVICES OF MICHAEL GARRETT
certification and/or licensing isn't necessary, literary agents
may voluntarily join a professional organization called the Association
of Authors Representatives. While membership in this organization
is no guarantee that an agent is competent or is right for you,
it's at least a good starting point. True, there are good literary
agents who are not members of this group, but they can be more difficult
to the AAR
Web Site and search their member agents for
your category of interest.
also a good idea to meet literary agents in person at major writing
conferences. A good resource to find out what's happening near you
• Help the agent fairly evaluate you as a client by providing
precise, honest information condensed to the most relevant information.
For instance, agents don't care to know that you worked on your
high school newspaper but if you've been published in prestigious
periodicals, by all means say so.
expect your agent to be an editor. Agents are totally into sales,
not editorial. You should never have to pay an agent for editorial
advice and, beyond general suggestions/impressions of your work,
your agent shouldn't offer any.