6 Steps To Find an Agent

Finding and securing an agent can be an overwhelming task. However, with these six steps, you will be more prepared to find the perfect fit for your writing dreams today.

As a writer, you probably dream of publishing a book or many books. As part of making this dream a reality, many writers whose goal is to be traditionally published start on the journey of finding an agent. This journey may take shorter or longer and requires a lot of prayer and patience. The most important is to seek God’s guidance and trust His timing and plan. 

As an author, finding an agent is like finding a publisher. They have similar requirements, and you must complete the same preparation and steps. 

How can you best prepare to find an agent? Let me share with you six steps of finding an agent. 

  • Discerning the right time. 

When is the time to search for literary representation? It is good to have some foundation as an author already. This means having a website, social media following, newsletter subscribers and publications on different platforms. The reason is agents and publishers want to see that you already have an audience and can market your book and your message. 

  • Preparing a book proposal. 

This is a crucial step. If you need to learn how to write it, there are COMPEL classes and resources to help you: Writing Winning Book Proposals. It is recommended to take as much time as you need to craft a compelling book proposal. You can also prepare a query letter and a one-sheet with all the vital information about the book if required. 

Each literary agency has its own submission requirements and may want a book proposal in a different format or covering additional topics. Be ready to revise your proposal according to the requirements. 

  • Researching suitable agencies. 

Make a list of the agencies and agents looking for book proposals in your niche. Don’t make the mistake of sending a proposal for, let’s say, a Bible study to an agent who is not currently looking for such a book. It is good to prepare a spreadsheet with the agency’s name, their requirements, which authors they represent, and the names and contact info of the agents you want to approach. 

  • Submitting. 

Submit, submit, submit! Add the date of your submission to the spreadsheet, and make a column for the follow-up. Usually, the agents take a couple of months to answer, and they state the response time on their website. If this time is over, this automatically means atomically a “no.” But it is OK if you send a follow-up email to be on the safe side. 

  • Going to writers conferences.

Conferences are excellent opportunities to meet agents and publishers and present your book ideas directly. You usually have 15 minutes, so be sure to prepare a good pitch, and present it clearly and to the point. COMPEL Writers Training offers Publisher Week to its members, which is a great chance to do that.

  • Use the COMPEL resources. 

Finally, use the COMPEL resources to find an agent. COMPEL has so many great resources to help you along in your writing journey as a COMPEL member. Here is a special series on literary agents: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About Literary Agents.

Finding an agent is a process, and rejections are a normal part of it. Rejections should not stop us from pursuing our dreams and goals. 

It would be wise while we seek an agent to approach suitable publishers that don’t require an agent too. For example, my publishing journey led me to sign a contract directly with a publisher. When I felt like giving up, God opened the right door for my book Draw Near: How Painful Experiences Become the Birthplace of Blessings. We never know which door God will open for us, but our part is to seek, knock, and ask. 


Hadassah Treu

Which of these steps of finding an agent have you implemented already? Share in the comments. 


Hadassah Treu is an award-winning Christian blogger, author, poet, speaker, and winner of the Encouraging Blogger Award from Fluxing Well for 2020. She loves to encourage and motivate people to stand firm in their faith and grow spiritually by applying biblical truths to their lives. Hadassah is a contributing author to several faith-based platforms, and devotional and poetry anthologies. She is also a COMPEL Training Freelancing Community Group leader and Blogger Voices Network contributor. Hadassah has been featured on (in)courage, Proverbs 31 Ministries, Living by Design Ministries, Her View From Home, Thoughts About God, Today’s Christian Living, and other popular sites. You can find her online by visiting her blog at onthewaybg.com.

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