There are ways of publishing a novel, and one such proper method is traditional publishing where you approach a publisher with your synopsis and 2 chapters, and they get back to you in a few months, if they are interested. The gap between the writer and the publisher is huge, and hence, to bridge the gap – the literary agency entered the stream.
Usually, when you mail your manuscript to your publisher, it falls under more than a thousand manuscript piled up. If you go through a literary agent, they would validate your manuscript and land it to the editors of the publishers which surpass the first bar that the manuscript is worth publishing.
This literary agency is something that properly works in the US and other countries, whereas in India, recently, it is mushrooming with proper roots. The literary agents push your manuscript and you in turn pay them a small percentage of your royalty in general, which means, you need not pay any money upfront.
There are publishers who don’t take any submissions that are sent directly by writers at all, and demand only literary agents to approach, one such is harper Collins India. The website has the list of approved Literary agents through which there are fair chances that your novel would get published for sure.
In South Asia – http://www.writersside.com/ is the number one literary agent. The other well known literary agents are the red ink, Sherna Khambatta, purple folio, the book bakers, and there are a few emerging now.
How to approach a literary agent?
Edit your novel to perfection, get enough feedback from friends and editors before sending it across
Research well on the publishers who would publish the genre that your book fall under, and accordingly, approach the agent
Generic format: 12 point font, double space, decent font like times new roman or courier new
How to become a good literary agent?
You should know in and out of publishing a book, marketing it, distributing it, etc..
Have great contacts in the industry right from editors of the publishing industry to the publishers, book shops, distributors, aggregators, etc..
Know the current trends of the industry
Have good knowledge on the contract details between the author and the publisher
Have great passion about books
It is not easy to become a lit agent without enough knowledge about it. And, Authors, please bear in mind, do not pay upfront money!