The Quickest and Easiest Way to get a Literary Agent even during COVID-19

The Quickest and Easiest Way to get a Literary Agent even during COVID-19

The Quickest and Easiest Way to get a Literary Agent even during COVID-19


People in other writing groups on Facebook ask: “What are agents doing these days?”

And, like most writers’ groups, people who have never actually met an agent in their lives are weighing in with conjecture. Well, I talk to a lot of agents every day, and I’m here to tell you what’s actually happening in the publishing industry while we’re shut down, so to speak.

Many of us are stuck at home. What are the agents doing? Well, many are taking advantage of the opportunity to read more. A lot of the agents I talk to are thinking, “This is great! I’ve got more time to read!”

The other thing I’ve been seeing is an increase in contract offers. They’ve got more time to read and make offers. Many of them are working from home. They’re getting on the phone with authors and holding interviews. Did you know that that happens?

Before you get offered a contract, you get interviewed to see if you’re a really good fit. There have been a lot of those happening, and I’ve seen numerous contracts coming through in my circle , in my sphere of writers, and others that I know.

Recently, I was talking with Jeff Kleinman. You may have heard of him. He’s a co-founder over at Folio Lit, an agency every author would love to have represent them. Jeff himself has multiple New York Times best sellers on his list.

Here’s what happened during that conversation: one of our Writing Gym members, Aaron, has this great literary piece he’s put together. So right there, on the spot, I was able to tell Jeff about Aaron’s work. And Jeff said, “Great. Send me the first 50 pages.”

Are agents still looking for high quality manuscripts? Are they still making offers?


Are publishing houses still making deals?


I can tell you what happened for Aaron. Like most agents, Jeff Kleinman has one of those submission forms where you put your query, or whatever it is that they’re looking for, in and eventually you hear back. Aaron hadn’t heard anything in a while. Since I know Jeff, I was able to call him up and check in with him about the status of Aaron’s materials. It turns out that he wasn’t able to receive Aaron’s materials.

But guess what I can do? I can send the materials straight his way. And I did.

I reached out to Aaron, got a copy of his query that he had sent to Jeff, zipped it over to Jeff and, like, quite literally 19 seconds later — if it was even that long — he got a request for the first 50 pages!

So, that’s the power of the Writing Gym.

That’s the kind of thing we’re doing for our writers.

If you’re tired of spinning your wheels and not getting any results and being frustrated and wondering how you can get an agent, let’s chat. You can drop yourself right into my calendar and we’ll talk about where you are, where you’d like to go, and how you can get there.

Until next time: Happy writing!

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How do I Find a Literary Agent?

How do I Find a Literary Agent?

How to Find a Literary Agent

“How do I find a literary agent?” 

This is something writers ask me a lot, because they are really frustrated in the process of finding an agent since it involves a lot of rejection. For those of you who don’t know about how the process works, the first step to getting traditionally published is to find a literary agent. 

Each agent represents a different genre. As you can imagine, they receive a lot of manuscripts and many of them get rejected.  This whole process is not easy. Many writers who have been rejected come to me for help. They ask me “How do I get an agent?” “What is the process?” “Why do so many people in the Writing Gym have such a high success rate of getting an agent?” 

You may have already heard of my story on how I found my literary agent. I found my agent in the first round of submissions. I sent out my first 20 or so letters and within 24 hours I got a positive response–this almost never happens. This system I used for myself is the same kind of system that I use for writers over in the Publishing Mastermind

Many of you already know that I speak with many literary agents everyday about what is trending in the marketplace right now. So you know that I have the latest and up-to-date information about getting published. At this time last year I talked to one of my agent friends and she gave me an exciting news.

She was opening a new literary agency and wanted to work with the writers from the Writing Gym. She knew the quality of writing that’s coming out of our programs specifically sought out our authors. We talked at length about how our writers can best be represented in their new literary agency. 

How do you get a literary agent? Well, you can do it the long, arduous way–you can keep sending out letters and take about three years until you can find an agent. Or, you can join the Publishing Mastermind and work with one of the agents that I talk with every week. 

If you’d like to talk with me about how you can publish your writing, click this

How Much Does Your Writing Mean To You?

How Much Does Your Writing Mean To You?

How Much Does Your Writing Mean To You? 

This time last year, I sent my manuscript for a new book to a high quality editor who cost a lot of money. You’ve heard me say this in a lot of videos before, but the truth is you get what you pay for.  

A couple people I worked with used to go to writing conferences where you could pitch to an agent. Betsy and Toby, two of the writers I worked with, impressed separate agents with the contents of their novels and were asked to send them pages of their work. 

This kind of opportunity does not always happen, especially given these agents were in prominent New York agencies. However, when it came down to editing their novels, Betsy and Toby went with the cheaper, more affordable route.

This meant that these editors were not very qualified. 

When they sent it their manuscripts, the agents rejected them, as they were not up to their standards. In many of these cases, you don’t get a second chance. This was the case for Betsy and Toby. 

Fortunately, everything worked out in the end. When I worked with Betsy and Toby, I was able to connect them with my network of agents, and help them with the process of getting published. Now they are signed and happy.

But things might not have turned out this way for them if they did not decide to make an investment. 

Sometimes we think about the amount of money that we’re spending, but we don’t think of the investment that we’re making. These are not the same. 

If I spend a couple hundred dollars and don’t get quality edits, I don’t get what I need, what my agent is looking for, and end up rejected. I’ve invested in nothing. 

However, if I make a substantial investment like a high quality editor, I have a higher chance of getting high quality edits.

Quality editing is an investment that is worth spending your money on.

We need to use high-quality professionals that is specific to what we’re doing if we want to publish our novel. 

If you feel like I do–if you believe in writing, you’re serious about publishing, and you’re willing to put in what it takes to make that happen then I’d love to talk with you. You can put yourself right into my calendar and we can chat about where you are, where you’d like to go, and how you can get there.

What’s Holding You Back On Your Query Letter And How To Fix It

What’s Holding You Back On Your Query Letter And How To Fix It

What’s Holding You Back On Your Query Letter And How To Fix It


Your query letter is an important document that you send to a literary agent to get representation for you novel. 

When I was a young author, I didn’t understand the business side of publishing and wanted nothing to do with the marketing piece. Many authors feel the same way; they feel overwhelmed with the marketing side of publishing.

One of the things that I often hear is: “I’m not a marketer, I’m a writer. I want someone else to do the marketing for me.” 

Here’s the truth. When authors bring that attitude into their publishing lives and into their pitch, they fail. It’s understandable that these writers want their book to stand on their own merit and get published because of that.

But this isn’t the reality. 

The reality is you have 10-15 seconds to impress a literary agent. They will not read your whole submission package. Many agents I know read submissions as they get out of a taxi cab. Imagine the quantity of that attention span on your submission. Additionally, you don’t know which portion they’re going to read. What this means is every single word needs to count. 

You need to be able to pitch well. Go big or go home. 

Imagine what it would be like to get a full page of critique from an agent that not only talks about your query letter but gives you an entire marketing plan for your future publishing career.

That is definitely better than getting a one sentence response of “I’m sorry, but this isn’t the right fit for us.” 

I remember thinking how difficult it was to present myself out there with my book. That is why I take time with writers to perfect their query letters, trying to get that marketing piece into their submission. 

It is important for you to remember if you are a writer, you must wear two hats: one writer hat and one marketer hat. And there are two different times for each hat. 

There is no shortcut for your success, but if you want to know how to fast track yourself into publication, I’d be happy to speak to you. 

Exciting News On How To Find A Literary Agent

Exciting News On How To Find A Literary Agent

Exciting News on How to Find a Literary Agent

Many of you have probably wondered:

  • How do I get published?
  • What is this thing called publishing?
  • How do I find an agent?
  • Why is publishing so hard? 




Answering these questions is something we do in the Writing Gym.

In the Publishing Mastermind, the second phase of the Writing Gym, we help you get your novel from revised to published.

See the timeline of the Publishing Mastermind below:

  • Part One: Revise
    • Focus on revising global issues of the draft
    • Regain focus on creativity and get mental space away from the project
  • Part Two: Publishing Bootcamp
    • One-on-one time revising the manuscript section by section
    • Focus on details and line edits, polishing the manuscript to be agent-ready
    • Work with me to find and query the agent that is right for the project

Participants at the Writing Gym have the opportunity to have their work exposed to literary publishers and agents. I meet with industry professionals on a regular basis to talk about manuscripts, what they’re looking for, and to get the edge for the writers in the Writing Gym–to get that “leg up.”

During my meetings, I mention these authors and their works then show the publishers and agents their publication packets and materials. Later on, they get requests for full manuscripts and full length responses form agents.

This is the power of these types of connections and programs that we run here in the Writing Gym. We are your liaison, we are your bridge to publication.

If you are interested in hearing more about what we do in the Writing Gym and want to talk about where you are, where you would like to go, and how you can get there–I’d love to chat with you. I’ll get you right into my calendar and we can talk about how we can get you published.

Why does my manuscript keep getting rejected?

Why does my manuscript keep getting rejected?

Why does my manuscript keep getting rejected?


Many of you know I often spend time speaking in New York City, and while I am there I catch up with some of the industry pros.

I recently got back from one trip, and I want to share what I heard with you.

Look, guys, the outlook isn’t good.


They tell me writers are still submitting sloppy manuscripts, submitting directly to publishing houses without an agent, and breaking all the submission rules.

The people I spend time with tend to have a sense of humor, but they were not laughing about this. They were upset, not only because Sloppy Joe Submissions waste their time, but also because writers who don’t follow the rules, don’t follow the right channels, and don’t submit materials are up to Industry standards… don’t get published.

Agents and publishers are human, and they don’t like rejecting people any more than any of us do, but they’re also a little stuck.

What can you do with sloppy work that doesn’t follow the rules? They’re busy professionals. They have no choice but to reject it.

It makes me sad, too. I see so many writers who would like to be authors, but who aren’t willing to truly invest in their dream. They don’t invest in the resources to create the kind of submission that gets published.

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this story: someone who thought they could do it on their own, Googling their way to figuring it out.

This method has a 100% result rates–for failure.

When you read my book Storytelling for Pantsers, you’ll hear me use the hockey analogy a lot. Publishing a book is the NHL of the publishing world.

Do you think players end up in the NHL because they google how to play hockey? No.

Industry experts know what’s what. They can spot a fake a million miles away.

That’s one of the major frustrations editors, publishers, and agents brought up to me on my recent trip: writers not treating them like the professionals they are, respecting their expertise.


Imagine you show up for NHL practice in figure skates. Maybe you think they’re good enough, but the industry experts will not be fooled. They have no patience for it. They’re tired of it.

Why aren’t you giving yourself the very best chance for publication by showing up on time with the right materials and the right skills?

As a writing coach, I  help writers to finish manuscripts and bring them to agents and publishers everyday. I work closely with best-selling authors, publishers, editors and agents to get the most current information the writers I work with.

If you’re serious about publishing, want to get out of the slush pile, have no interest in being a sloppy joe but really want tip-top publishing for your book, let’s chat.

**This opportunity isn’t for everyone. It’s only for fiction writers who are SERIOUS about publishing a high-quality manuscript.**

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