Chuck Sambuchino’s Guide to Literary Agents Blog

Chuck Sambuchino is an editor and published author who runs the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, one of the biggest blogs in publishing. His site has instruction and information on literary agents, literary agencies, query letters, submissions, publishing, author platform, book marketing, and more.


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5 Easy Steps to Writing a Bestseller

1. Write a good book. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yet it can be difficult to accomplish. A good book is unique, with compelling characters, voice, and plot. It’s not easy to come up with something original when you’re writing within the confines of a genre like romance, where the tropes are set in stone...

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7 Writing Rules You Can Ignore

When I say you can ignore these rules, I don’t mean that you should. These “truisms” floating around about writing are useful to think about, especially when you’re starting out, and they can point you to weaknesses in your work. In the end, though, you have to trust your own process. Here are seven...

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7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Sarah Maine

7. Patience. Perhaps the most important thing I have learned so far is patience. Patience with myself when nothing seems to go well, patience waiting for feedback from busy friends or professionals (and patience with their comments when they arrive…), patience as publishers consider their response, and patience until that great day when it...

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New Literary Agent Alert: Maximilian Ximenez of L. Perkins Agency

Maximilian is actively pursuing clients for both fiction and nonfiction works. In fiction, he is acquiring science fiction, fantasy, horror and thrillers, particularly cyberpunk and neo-noir as well as books with a uniquely deconstructive bent. For nonfiction, Maximilian is seeking popular science, true crime and books pertaining to arts and trends in developing fields...

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7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Rachel Dunne

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers (this installment written by Rachel Dunne, author of IN THE SHADOW OF THE GODS) at any stage of their career can talk about writing advice and instruction as well as how they possibly got their book agent—by sharing seven things they’ve learned along their...

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29th Free “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest: Historical Fiction

The contest below is for historical fiction writers. If you came here looking for the memoir writing contest that is happening at the same time, find it here. ————————————– Welcome to the 29th (free!) “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest on the GLA blog. This is a FREE recurring online contest with agent judges and super-cool prizes. Here’s the...

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5 Ways to Combat Author Anxiety

It turns out Author Anxiety is a Thing. It’s not just me. I discovered this on the eve of publication of my debut novel, DECEPTION ISLAND, when I was silly enough to Google my shiny new title. Up popped a Netgalley reviewer live-tweeting as she read it. Only she was hating it—pulling it apart...

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28th Free “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest: Memoir

Welcome to the 28th (free!) “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest on the GLA blog. This is a FREE recurring online contest with agent judges and super-cool prizes. Here’s the deal: With every contest, the details are essentially the same, but the niche itself changes—meaning each contest is focused around a specific category or two. If you’re writing a...

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Agents Renew Call For Diverse Books and #OwnVoices Submissions

As November 2016 has progressed, some literary agents and editors on Twitter have put out direct calls (or renewed previous calls) for diverse book submissions using hashtags such as #diversebooks and #ownvoices. I’ve corralled plenty of these calls below. If you’re writing a diverse book, check out the list below. Good luck querying! Some...

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Successful Queries: Agent Sarah Yake and “She Came From Beyond!”

This series is called “Successful Queries” and I’m posting actual query letter examples that succeeded in getting writers signed with agents. In addition to posting these query letter samples, we will also get to hear thoughts from the writer’s literary agent as to why the letter worked. The 77th installment in this series is with agent Sarah...

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7 Things I’ve Learned so Far, by Julie Falatko

Kindness matters. Be nice. Celebrate the books you love. Help others when you can. Be gracious when you can’t. It never hurts to be kind to others. I suppose sometimes being mean might get you something, but mostly it gets you a reputation as a jerkface that no one wants to work with or...

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Self-Care Makes Better Writers

I've been more curious about myself, which, I believe, has directly led to seeing other people more clearly. This also translates to character writing: in my new book, my characters are more accessible to me, though no less complex. I find I write with more joy. It's the self-work that has opened up the...

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Train Your Brain and Make Writing a Priority

Finding the time to write is a universal struggle for writers. Day jobs, kids, pets, presidential elections, to-do lists…there are a million things that require our time and attention before we can give anything to writing. When I was in college, I wrote a terrible young adult novel. I worked on it during holiday breaks...

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7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Kelsey Miller

7. You can’t force ideas to come, but you can invite them. The muse makes her own hours and if it’s her day off, then oh well. I released my first book six months ago, and I’ve been thinking about Book #2 since the moment I finished the proof pages. But you can’t force your...

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Successful Query: Agent Adriann Ranta and “Sad Perfect”

This series is called “Successful Queries,” and I’m posting actual query letter examples that succeeded in getting writers signed with agents. In addition to posting these query letter samples, we will also get to hear thoughts from the writer’s literary agent as to why the letter worked. The 76th installment in this series is with agent Adriann...

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3 Imperfect Rules for Writing

I’ve been thinking a lot about perfection recently. As a creative writing teacher, I often hear statements about the writing process from my students—statements that involve one of my least favorite words: should.

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6 Tips for Getting Rid of Writer’s Block

3. Participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). On November 1, participants work towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 on November 30. It allows you to focus on word count and the completion of a novel, even if the writing is (at first) complete crap on the page. You can...

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27th Free “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest: Women’s Fiction

Agent judge Irene Goodman has chosen the winners (no order): Patrycja Podrazik IN THE WARMTH OF THE SUN Margaret Porter MOST BEAUTIFUL Megan Grant DEFECTIVE GOODS ————————- Welcome to the 27th (free!) “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest on the GLA blog. This is a FREE recurring online contest with agent judges and super-cool prizes. Here’s the deal: With...