Forgotten Words

Review: Guide to Literary Agents 2017

In as concise a way as possible, Chuck Sambuchino compiles the most important things for new authors to consider after they’ve done the legwork of writing a book (fiction or naught).


I’ve spent the good part of last year querying, so I thought I knew what to expect, but there are things that Chuck brings up that I overlooked. For instance, utilizing social media (Twitter) as a supplement to cold-call querying was something that had never crossed my mind. But if an agent is able to look at a 140 character pitch and decide if they’d want to receive a query from you (nothing being promised, of course) you can consider yourself already one step out of the slush pile. And as a writer who has spent his entire professional career thus far inside the slush pile, anything that can edge me out of it for a chance to be seen read, is a tidbit well loved.


There are sections within this guide for fiction and non-fiction proposals., query-writing, synopsis-tweaking, and even how to engage with your agent once you have signed with one (that last section must be in there for the laughs alone). In addition to these helpful sections,


Though Chuck cannot take all the credit, as this edition features sections written by a number of other agents and authors. And while not every section held import to me, I found their varying perspectives to be equally informative and refreshing. Seeing where different agents would stop during a particular query  was eye-opening. Things really are equal parts luck, taste, and skill.


Ultimately, the 2017 guide is my first foray into these guides (as it is my first full year querying) so I cannot speak to any changes from previous years. As far as a tool for new writers, I can’t imagine that this is not worth its small price. The online functionality is likely worth the price alone.


I received this book for free from Chuck Sambuchino.