A literary agent has the ability to open doors in the publishing world that can remain locked to an author without representation. The majority of literary agents are based in New York City, but with the increased use of technology and electronic submissions, location of an agency is flexible. If you live and write in Florida and prefer to be represented by a local, there are a number of professional agencies to explore.
Resources for Finding Agents
Because agency personnel and submission requirements change, consult a literary agent directory that is frequently updated to find current details on Florida agents and the genres they represent. "Writers Market" offers an online subscription service with an up-to-date list of agencies, contact information for their staff, areas of expertise and submission policies. Free listings of literary agents may also serve as a resource for agencies situated in Florida. "Writer's Digest" publishes a blog that regularly features agents who are seeking clients, and "Poets & Writers" has a free searchable online database of literary agents.
Literary Agents Who Meet the Highest Standards
The Association of Authors' Representatives, Inc., or AAR, is the preeminent national association for professional literary agents. Its more than 400 members must adhere to a canon of ethics and maintain AAR standards. According to the canon, AAR "members pledge themselves to loyal service to their clients’ business and artistic needs, and will allow no conflicts of interest that would interfere with such service." The AAR website has a free searchable list of member agencies. Florida literary agents that are members of the AAR include the Knight Agency and the Stringer Literary Agency.
Tips for a Successful Submission
Before submitting your manuscript to an agency, do your research to make sure it is a good fit. Look at the books it has successfully sold to publishers to see where your work might fit in. When you are ready to make contact, read the submission guidelines thoroughly, as there are no standard procedures for submission. One agency may require a query letter before you send in any work, while another may want to see the first five pages and yet another may request the entire manuscript. Follow submission instructions precisely or your work may be rejected before it is read.
A List of Florida Agencies
Below is a list of Florida literary agents in business as of this writing. Consult their websites, listed in the resources, for submission guidelines.
Barbara Bova Literary Agency Brown Literary Agency D4EO Literary Agency Eaton Literary Agency The Knight Agency The Stringer Literary Agency
An agency may change personnel, move the office or even close up shop, so directories that are updated on a regular basis are the best sources for accurate listings.