top of page


Literary agents are the primary way to get your book published.

Literary agents will work with you to get your manuscript into the best shape possible before submitting it to prospective publishers. They know the best publishers who specialise in particular genres for every type of book and every type of author, and they’ll help you throughout your writing career if they feel you have the talent. As most writers are signed by publishers via literary agents, it’s well worth investigating them. You’ll find their details online, and in the annual Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook as well as valuable practical advice and information about the publishing process generally.

Link for more information

Find out more about what a literary agent does

Direct submissions

If you’ve been unsuccessful in finding an agent your next option is to contact a publisher directly.

To improve your chances, it is essential that you start by researching the market. Publishing is a commercial business. Publishers will need to be convinced that there is a potential market for any book that they decide to publish, and they will make money.

It’s essential to find the right publisher. First of all, think about who would be a good fit for you and your book. Have a look at the titles online and in your local bookstores, and see who publishes books that yours might sit well next to - if you've written a romantic fiction novel, find out which publishers have a romance list, or even specialise in the genre.

When you've decided which would be the best publisher for you, find out if they accept submissions, who and where to send them to, and in what format. Email first to find out who is the best person to receive your work.

Presentation is important. Submit your material in the most appropriate format for the publishers. They'll probably ask for the first two or three chapters and a synopsis of the whole book. Your pitch starts with the covering letter so make sure you explain why your book is worth publishing and why they are the perfect publisher to do it.


It may seem obvious but make sure that the subject matter is commercial and of interest to the general public.

Invite feedback on your work from people who may have useful insights. Don't give it to people such as friends or relatives who will be reluctant to give you an honest opinion (and don't hold it against anyone if their feedback isn't entirely positive).

Remember you don't have to send in a complete manuscript at first in order to get a book deal or acquire an agent. Ask the agent or publisher what they would want to see in the first instance.

Rewrite, proof, rewrite again...Most writers do multiple drafts of their work. Make sure your copy is perfect before you send it. Make sure you are confident that every word, sentence and passage works.

Have a strong opening. If a manuscript is going to be worth more than a cursory glance, then this should be obvious very quickly. Make every word count.

Pitch yourself as well as your book. Give some background details of yourself, why you feel what you have written will be saleable as a book, who might want to read it, authors that have influenced you and books that it might be compared to. Tell them about your social media history, how you’ve worked to gain recognition for your book. How

many followers you have. How many posts you’ve made. Have you an author account on Goodreads or Amazon?

Be prepared to wait for a decision on your work. Be prepared for rejection.

Take any general compliments contained in a rejection letter at face value; publishers and agents to not tend to offer encouragement unless they feel there is real potential in your work.

Don't send in your only copy of the manuscript. Responsibility will not be accepted if material is lost or damaged.

Don't expect to be given reasons for rejection. Publishers and agents do not have time to spend on books that they do not intend to publish.

Submissions from Literary Agents

Subject to the points above we will accept submissions from literary agents and authors.

bottom of page