Looking for a literary agent is like applying for a job, but a thousand times harder. The process of querying agents or pitching to them in conferences is full of pitfalls. So it’s great when an experienced literary agent like Paula Munier rounds up the common mistakes writers make and shares them on her blog. Number one on Munier’s list is “Don’t query by phone.” Her advice is to always check an agent’s submission guidelines. Common sense, right? But many writers need to be reminded of this.
Three items on Munier’s list pertain to salutations. Do take the time and effort to research the name of the agent and make sure you spell it correctly. She also talks about the importance of submitting the right file—no PDFs or flash drives, please—and submit only if the agent requests your manuscript.
Munier, senior literary agent at Talcott Notch, is also an author, writing teacher, editor, and content strategist. I’m happy to say that she’s my literary agent.
If you’re writing fiction, I highly recommend Munier’s book, “Plot Perfect: Building Unforgettable Stories Scene by Scene.” It’s full of practical tips and tools for writers, including exercises, checklists, templates, and recommendations. Most of all, she shares insights about the industry based on her experience and first-hand observations.