How to Get a Non-Fiction Literary Agent
HOW TO GET A NON-FICTION LITERARY AGENT
BY BART BAGGETT AND WENDY KELLER
Because of the level of ignorance and massive change in the publishing business, most rookie authors are full of misinformation, over-confidence, and a level of self-delusion and cockiness usually reserved for reality television.
The recent webinar I did with 25-year non-fiction publishing agent Wendy Keller will break through all your delusions and give you clarity on your career as a non-fiction author. At the end of this article, I give you a link to listen to this webinar, as a free gift, just for reading the entire article.
The entire publishing and book selling industry has massively changed over the last two decades… but the core elements of a good book & and a long career as a non-fiction author have remained the same. Agents and Publishers want to bet on the horse that is most likely to win. Self-Publishing has not only made a huge progress to level the playing field, but any self-published authors are upsetting the applecart more and more frequently every week. I could’ve titled this article “ A Step By Step System for Absolutely Not Getting a Non-Fiction Agent And Have Them Laugh At You Behind Your Back.”
Here are some tips to NOT GETTING AN AGENT and never BECOMING A BEST SELLING AUTHOR.
- Be arrogant.
- Fail to understand that marketing is your job, not the publishers.
- Write a book with no specific reader in mind. Make sure “everyone” in the world is your target audience.
- Listen to the advice of your friends and family about your title and cover artwork.
- Write a personal story about your life that uses the word “me” about 10,000 times about an experience that was profound to you, but utterly boring and insignificant to the rest of the world.
- Don’t bother building a raging fan base on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram before you approach an agent… simply write a great book and expect the publishers to build your audience for you.
- Don’t build a platform for yourself. Simply ignore it (like a pesky mosquito you hope will just go away and not bother you… so you can get back to writing.)
- After getting a rejection letter, tell the agent she is stupid and will regret this decision for the rest of her life because you are the next big thing.
Super Non-Fiction Agent Wendy Keller and I have taken different paths over the last two decades. She has not only written 16 books (some under her own name, some under a pen name), but she’s represented hundreds of best selling authors in the field, such as Jack Canfield, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and led 12 others to #1 New York Times Best Sellers. Wendy solely focused on big international New York publishing houses, contracts, big advances and royalty checks.
You will hear more about her in the the first 4 minutes of the interview: http://bartbaggett.com/marketingmastermind/wendy-keller/
On the other hand, I focused on self-publishing, speaking and building a career as a world-renowned expert. This path built me a six-figure business, took me around the world, and made me a semi-celebrity in some circles. (I’ve appeared on CNN’s Larry King Live, CBS, NBC, Court TV, and I was asked to give my opinion by the New York Times just last week.) I recently self-published an entire training course on this entire process at http://7stepselfpublishingformula.com I could get an agent today.
I have a platform. I have an audience. I could get a NY publishing contract. But, the question is… do I want to? Do you really want to sell your rights to a publisher? If you do, you need an agent.
I chose to self-publish my first two books and worked my butt off to sell books via speaking, radio and TV interviews and direct marketing. (I did sell my international rights to India’s largest non-fiction publishers. That has opened lots of doors for me on the international speaking circuit and was a smart decision.) The last few books and six more I am publishing this year will all be directly to the Kindle platform and no agent or book printer will be involved.
This is all about strategy. It’s not just about selling books in my business plan. It’s about attracting and keeping fans worldwide. The good thing about this article and the in-depth video interview is you’ve got two experts contributing to give you both the benefits and liabilities of traditional publishing and self-publishing.
If you choose traditional publishing, you need to get the attention of an agent… the gatekeepers and confidants of the big publishing world. If you don’t have the ability to sell yourself to a respected agent… why would a publishing house listen to you?
During the webinar, Wendy gave a very clear blueprint of exactly the path that will get you rejected, declined, frustrated and become an absolute failure as an author in the traditional New York publishing world which Wendy is one of the gatekeepers, confidants, and trusted allies. Ignore her advice at your own peril.
Click here to view this webinar:
This webinar was part of a paid $197/ month member’s only presentation. So, don’t dismiss it as having no value because it’s free. It will change your understanding of today’s publishing world. Especially in today’s publishing world!
You might discover it serves you better to go the self-publishing route now or be patient while you “build your career” to a level that an agent of Wendy’s stature would take you seriously. At least you will understand, from an agent’s perspective, what level of work that it will take to reach that goal successfully.
If you listen to the webinar replay, you will get an introduction to one of the most educated, time-tested, heartfelt and a brutally honest agent in the publishing business. It’s the kind of conversations that casting directors have in the room AFTER THE ACTOR leaves the room. Honest, brutal, useful feedback that you will never hear as an actor. It’s the kind of conversation Wendy and I have had for years at the end of a three day publishing conference over a glass of wine as we discuss the dozens of starry-eyed first time authors who will never see their book published and go to their grave blaming their failure on “the system”.
Here’s the deal. If you follow her advice to the letter you can actually get a big-time contract and become the author you dream you can be. Now the previous paragraph is a pretty big claim. And if you listen to Wendy’s interview, as well as the words in this article, you’ll understand about 990 people out of every 1,000-email submissions and conversations she has won’t qualify or is not willing to do the work required to actually ever land a big-time contract. You might be the diamond in the rough that values mentors, experts, and veterans of an industry and actually follows the advice. You might just rock it.
That’s what I want for you. I want you to rock it.
When you learn how the business really works you can absolutely design your career from scratch and rise to the top quicker than a Mentos in a Coke bottle. It doesn’t take luck; it doesn’t take an amazing gift for writing. You don’t have to be a genius, but it does take an open mind to listen, learn, and follow the system.
To listen to the entire interview with Wendy Keller for free, visit this unlocked area of the author & speaker marketing mastermind membership site.
Click here to view this webinar, at no fee:
For More information about Wendy Kellers’ products, visit this page: http://booksellingsecrets.com/members/wendy-keller/
To Get 4 of Bart Baggett’s videos on becoming a best selling author and getting 63 real Amazon Book Reviews in 3 Days, visit this page: http://booksellingsecrets.com
View the series of in-depth training videos on all aspects of becoming a best selling author, building a worldwide audience of hungry fans, and leveraging your writing and speaking skills into a busy career, highly paid key note lectures, feature films, and an internet business than works for you 24/7.
Join our community by simply subscribing to our newsletter packed full of tips to
becoming a best selling author and publishing your way
to more reach and profitability.
(Private coaching to get your book completed, positioned, and launched.)
Want to attend live classes each month?
Contact our office directly at 310-684-3048
and ask about our one-on-one consulting services
or “done for you” author packages.
Bart Baggett Publishing
Empresse Publishing / International Headquarters
13437 Ventura Blvd Suite 213
Los Angeles, CA 91423