How Do You Book a 1:1 with a Literary Agent?

First, let’s talk about why you might be interested in doing this. If you have a novel and it’s completed (you’ve edited it, taken it through a few drafts, and you’re feeling good about its condition), you might be thinking about or currently querying. A 1:1 with a literary agent can be so helpful for a few reasons. 

  • They give you valuable feedback on your query package. As these are the people receiving queries, they are the experts! Their feedback will help you improve. 
  • They can give you insider advice. Agents are up to date on literary market trends, publisher preferences, and more. All of this information can increase your chances of getting published!
  • To build a relationship. You’re not going to become best friends over a 15-minute phone call, but talking to an agent who represents your genre and having the opportunity to discuss your work with them is more impactful than sending an email. First of all, you are guaranteed their attention – and that’s huge. Often, submissions will be reviewed by an assistant first and won’t even make it to the agent you are contacting, so having the opportunity to talk to the agent you are querying is so valuable. 

If you’re ready to book that 1:1 – here are some options on how to do it:

  • Literary festivals. At literary festivals, you have the opportunity to pre-book (rarely is it first come, first serve on the day, so always pre-book) a face-to-face 1:1 with an agent. Festivals such as:

The London Festival of Writing

How to Hook an Agent Event by Bloomsbury Publishing

The London Book Fair

  • Online. Various writing organisations offer 1:1 sessions over the phone or on software such as Zoom. You can peruse the agents available to make sure that you will be speaking with someone who represents your genre. Here are a few:

I am in Print

Jericho Writers

  • Query. Querying is the traditional way to get an agent 1:1. The above ways are guaranteed because you book them in advance, but querying can lead to a chat with your chosen literary agent. Want to know more about querying? Check out the following blog posts:

3 Things to Avoid When Querying Literary Agents

5 Ways to Find a Literary Agent or Publisher

When to Follow up With a Literary Agent or Publisher

Coaching Productivity

How Understanding Your Creative Data Can Lead to Literary Success

Before we move onto how it can help us reach literary success, what is Creative Data? You may not know, and that’s okay because it can mean different things to different people.

I developed this idea after learning the concept of ‘data over emotion’ when it comes to marketing. This means paying attention to what is working for your audience, as opposed to posting based on emotion and moment. I thought that this was interesting and wondered what the writing equivalent would be. So, Creative Data, after some analysis, was developed.

Creative Data can be broken down into the following elements:

1) When you feel you are at your most creative.
2) How much you can write during a typical hour on a typical day. 

Armed with this information, you are able to make a decision based on data over emotion. For example, when we say ‘I don’t have the time to write,’ this is often an emotional response to feeling busy and overwhelmed. This is perfectly valid too, by the way, and if this is the case, it might be that you need some rest. But, if you want to get some writing done, Creative Data can help. It enables us to look at our diaries and calendars and say, ‘Okay, I do have the time to write, and I can see that I can get around 1000 words down on Wednesday.’

So, how can understanding our Creative Data lead us to literary success? 

Great question. Knowing that we are most productive at a particular time of day is the first step to moving forward with a routine that works for us. If we add this to understanding how much we can write in one hour, we are left with information that can really help us move forward with our novels.

During National Novel Writing Month (November), the name of the game is to prioritise our novels for one month. That’s fantastic, and a lot of people get a lot written during that time. But in an average month, it can be a recipe for burnout to push for 50,000 words during those four weeks. That’s why Creative Data can help both plotters, pantsers and plantsers! Here’s an example of my Creative Data:

1) I write best in the morning, after a cup of coffee when the house is quiet.
2) I can write around 2,000 words in one hour.
3) I know I have a tendency to be distracted by the internet, so I set a stopwatch while I’m writing to keep me on track. 

Armed with this knowledge, I am able to look at my week objectively. Because I time block, I can slot in an hour two/three times a week for writing, and I know that this will yield around 4,000-6000 words. Therefore, I can set realistic writing deadlines that I can stick to, leading me to literary success.

So, what is your Creative Data?

Looking for a similar read? Check out the Productivity page of my blog posts! There’s lots to see.