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

People in other writing groups here 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, all 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. The highways are empty. The sidewalks are empty. So, what are the agents doing? Well, many agents 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. So they’ve got more time to read, and they’ve got more time to 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. And today I was talking with Jeff Kleinman. You may have heard of him. He’s a co-founder over at Folio Lit. This is an agency that every author would love to have represent them—lots and lots of successes. Jeff himself has multiple New York Times best sellers on his list.

So, here’s what happened during that conversation: one of our Writing Gym members, Aaron, has this great literary piece that 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.”

So, are agents still looking for high quality manuscripts? Are they still making offers? Absolutely. Are publishing houses still making deals? Absolutely.

Is it still the same old, same old? Well, 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 then 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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