The 2oth anniversity edition of this Writer’s Digest Book seems a bit leaner than in previous years; despite new articles, hundreds of listings for writers’ conferences, and fresh material on this rapidly changing business. Nearly a third of the book is dedicated to how-to and background information for authors on finding the right agent for your work. The second third of the reference guide offers 550 updated listings for literary agents. The last third is a specialty index for those who use it as a business tool for handy reference.

Chuck Sambuchino is the editor of this 20th edition of 2011 Guide to Literary Agents. He’s built a career on helping authors find the right agent.  Check out his website

What I like about this book is how useful it is to someone just dreaming of becoming an author and to veteran professional writers.  It lets novices know what to expect of an agent, and what is expected of writers to prepare for literary representation.

Most publishers now only accept manuscripts from agents. (The exceptions to this generalization are found largely in non-fiction trade small and independent publishers.) No unsolicited manuscripts is a constant refrain new writers hear. This guidebook offers an author the necessary background to understand the role of an agent and what they will do for an author.

The Softcover price of the book includes acess to a free online seminar on how to use the tools in this book to get an agent, a searchable online database of the listings in the book, and a free digital download of Writer’s Yearbook 2011 which I read cover to cover.