To increase your chances of success when submitting your work to a literary agent you need to find the right literary agent for you and your manuscript. Whilst our manuscript appraisal services can help you to tick the boxes with your work and our guide to formatting your manuscript can help you to present your submission package properly, you still need to make sure you have done your research and you choose someone who is right for your book.
Not sure who to approach? Find books that are similar to your own in genre, style or subject matter. Check the acknowledgements page where you may see the author thanking their agent. These are the literary agents to contact. Make sure you have a copy of the latest Writers' and Artists' Yearbook handy for contact details of the relevant agents.
Personalise your email to each individual literary agent and make sure the agent knows why you have chosen them above others. This is your chance to show that you have done your research and that you are serious about your writing career and becoming a published author. Check out the literary agency's website to ensure that agent is handling the type of submission you are making.
You may think this is submission 101, but it does happen - make sure you get the right agent at the correct agency, and that you spell their name correctly.
Don't call and ask questions that are likely to have been answered on the website. Making personal contact with lots of questions or a pitch on the phone won't help at this stage. Keep your pitch to the email or postal submission.