Literary Agent & Publisher Research

Let us compile a list of literary agents or publishers specifically targeted to your book project. Authors who benefit from literary agent research and/or publisher research services usually have submission materials (such as a query letter, book proposal, and/or book synopsis) prepared or at least in draft form. Once we turn the list of 20 agents and/or publishers over to you, it is your responsibility to submit your materials and continue the process of finding an agent or publisher. Although we will point out any obvious errors or issues we find in your submission materials, we do not provide opinions or assurances about the viability of book projects and there is no guarantee that anyone on the list will accept your proposed book project. Please check out Jane Friedman's consulting services & courses (here) and her list of trusted resources (here) for help with these other issues.

Please note: Once you purchase a package we try to keep the turnaround for an agent/publisher research job to about two weeks, however, this will ultimately depend on the client load and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Package Options

Basic Literary Agent Research ($179)

  • Personalized research to pinpoint the best literary agents for your work
  • A list of 20 literary agents with all the necessary contact information and guidelines for submission

Basic Publisher Research Package ($179)

  • Personalized research to pinpoint the publishers for your work
  • A list, with all the necessary contact information and guidelines for submission, of up to 10* small to mid-size publishers that offer traditional print distribution (for un-agented work) 
  • Please note, although we do our best to match your book project to specific publishers, there are a limited number of publishers that accept un-agented submissions, and we may add publishers that more generally accept submissions in the genre of your book project. Since you have a much better sense of your own work, you may discover certain publishers on the list that you may decide are not a good fit for your work. In a few cases, depending on the project, GSF may be able to provide additional markets if the author wants more to choose from. These cost an additional $35 per market to research.

* We primarily search for publishers that offer traditional print distribution (the scope of distribution will vary depending on the size of the press), but depending on the particulars of your work, it may not be possible to produce a robust list of such publishers. We may include publishers that have a digital-only business or offer print-on-demand in order to fill out the list (you can select for or against this option on the order form). We do not include hybrid or other publishers that charge authors/clients to read or publish their work.

Click-to-Submit Literary Agent Research / Publisher Research & Formatting of Submission Materials for 2 Agents or Publishers* ($199) 

*Does not include Nonfiction book proposals or more than the first 10 pages of your manuscript. Additional charges apply for the formatting of a Nonfiction book proposal and additional manuscript pages (see below).

  • everything in the Basic Agent or Publisher Research package
  • formatting of submission materials (this includes query letters, author bios, synopsis, and first 10 pages of your manuscript) for 2 agents or publishers
  • an additional charge of $30 to format materials for every additional (over 2) agent or publisher
  • an additional charge of $150 to format a Nonfiction book proposal
  • an additional charge for formatting 11+ pages of a manuscript, the cost will be determined based on total pages required

Sample Report:

Here's an example of an agent research report. This is an abridged version. In a full version, 20 agents would be listed. You can see both parts of this report by clicking on their respective buttons below:

What we do not do:

  • offer opinions about book project ideas
  • write or critique submission materials
  • guarantee that anyone on the list will accept your book proposal

Please check out Jane Friedman's consulting services & courses (here) and her list of trusted resources (here) to find help with services we do not provide.

What we can do:

  • targeted research in industry databases to find you the agents or publishers that fit your specific book project
  • provide a list of 20 agents and/or publishers to whom it makes sense for you to submit your work for consideration
  • offer tips on projects being sought by agents and editors in real time (if applicable to your project)
  • provide the requirements of submission for each agent or publisher
  • red flag any major issues we see with your submission materials
  • ready materials for submission

What we will need from you:

  • we will need to know if you are looking for an agent or a publisher:
    • If you want to publish with one of the traditional New York publishers, you will need an agent.
    • If you are not looking to publish with one of the traditional New York publishers, we will research smaller publishers and their editors.
    • Not sure? Then we will start with agents (agents are less likely to take on a book project that has been shopped around to publishers first).
  • completed drafts of your submission materials (such as a cover/query letter, book proposal, and/or synopsis)
  • a short abstract of your work, the genre/category of your work, and 10 keywords that characterize your work

Ready to Purchase?

Fill out our Agent/Publisher Research form and pay a $30 deposit on the package of your choice. Kelly will be in contact within 2 business days and we will get started on your list right away. Please note the following:

  • If there are any agents or publishers the author knows of and have already ruled out, GSF must know that before research begins.
  • If there is any condition that makes a publisher unacceptable from the author's perspective (e.g., they require a marketing plan), GSF must be informed before research begins. Otherwise, GSF will use its best judgment and include publishers that appear to be a good fit. In a few cases, depending on the project, GSF may be able to provide additional markets if the author wants more to choose from. These cost an additional $35 per market to research.

Need a Query Critique too?

Our colleague Jane Friedman is offering our Basic Agent Research package as an Add On to her Query & Synopsis Critique services. If you sign up on her website, you'll get our services for $150. Note this is a discounted rate not offered elsewhere.

Want to find out more before purchasing?

Schedule a free 15-minute one-on-one consultation with one of our associates (see bios here).

If you'd rather skip the consultation and have us begin on your list right away, please click here to purchase a package now.

Literary Agent & Publisher Research Testimonials

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Within a week of sending queries out to the agents recommended by Grad Student Freelancers, I got three requests from three different agents to see my manuscript. GSF's service was prompt and thorough, and obviously, their research was beautifully specific to my work. I highly recommend them!

Katie Daley
I was very impressed by the quality of the research that GSF performed in our search for agents for a particular book project. Truly professional work and a time saver!
Atilla Vekony Wheatmark, Inc.

Impressive and very useful service for the money we paid. For new writers in the business (like me), the analysis provided by GSF is critical in navigating through the agent search.

Ravi Vannela

Grad Student Freelancers helped me get closer to achieving my writer goals. Their level of professionalism puts them above any other service.

Bradley Backus

The service I received was pluperfect, professional and punctual. It far exceeded my expectations. Thorough research and well-presented.

Stephen Maitland-Lewis

I highly recommend GSF's services, as they were an immense help in targeting an appropriate agent and gathering the necessary information to submit the right materials. Additionally, GSF staff were courteous, highly responsive, and all-around terrific.

Ian Reifowitz
To migrate through the lists of publishers and where to go next is very difficult. This program is amazing with the guidance that they provide. And, I especially appreciate the professionalism. They know what they are doing!
Karen Trolan

Fantastic and much needed service for writers just starting out. Helps you target your project to specific agents so you are not just blindly submitting it and crossing your fingers.

Very prompt, professional and responsive to questions along the way. Reasonable price for service package (agent/publisher research). Found promising agents for my novel spanning a couple of genres. Always showed good knowledge of agent query process and publisher market.

Tom Higgins
An excellent service! All interactions were professional and personal and the list Kelly and her helper came up with impressive. It's heartening to see how many agents are representing novels similar to mine.
Emunah Herzog

I am just beginning to query my YA fantasy, and the list of agents Grad Student Freelancers found for me will be extremely helpful. The research was detailed and specific for my novel. My hopes are high that I'll find an agent to represent me. Thanks for your help.

Joseph Bingham

Kelly and Christopher courteously and professionally tailored my search for a literary agent and packaged my submission -- highly recommended!

John Witherow


Do you have questions about our services?

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Praise for our work...

Kelly was indispensable in her organization and attention to detail with my book project for the University of Chicago. She had a large amount of material to review and manage, lots of sources to research and cite, and was able to tackle it all while needing very little guidance from me. Beyond that, she also compiled chapter abstracts and keywords, and went back through my work multiple times as changes were made. She was invaluable.
Jane Friedman, publishing consultant and former publisher of Writer's Digest

Christopher was exactly what I was looking for. He is a great biblical scholar of historical criticism who held my writing feet to the fire. The biggest surprise is how good he is as a straight-up editor. It's ironic that I like his red pen more than a few "professional" editors I've worked with. Perhaps all editors should be put through the mandatory rigor of grading students' papers for a few years, as well as writing their own papers for tough professors.

Kevin Bader, writer