THAO LE: On Being A Literary Agent


Manage episode 233880558 series 121630
By Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio streamed directly from their servers.

Warm welcome to our new listeners, be sure to check out our archive of episodes by clicking here!


Meet fellow members in our community and check in about your WIP, share your wins and join in on 88 Cups of Tea related discussions! You can really feel the love and support in our Facebook community. You also get the opportunity to submit your questions for upcoming guests on the show. Click here to join our private Facebook group!


For today’s new episode, we’ve partnered with Four Sigmatic. Four Sigmatic is a superfood company whose mission is to take over the world with their delicious coffees, teas, and cacaos that are all made with functional mushrooms and adaptogens.

Head over to to learn more and get 15% off your order. Thank you to our listeners for supporting a brand we love and a brand that believes in the work that we do here at 88 Cups of Tea. A special thank you to our sponsors and collaborators who help keep our show running!


Have you ever wondered what it takes to become a literary agent? Or how a literary agent sells a manuscript? How about tips on improving your query letter? We discuss these topics and much more with Thao Le!

Thao is a literary agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. She represents Children’s books and Young Adult across many genres, and in the adult realm represents romantic leaning Fantasy and Light Science Fiction. Thao’s clients include NYT bestselling fantasy author Roshani Chokshi, NYT bestselling contemporary Young Adult author Sandhya Menon, Indie bestselling picture book author-illustrator Jessie Sima, and many more.

In our conversation, we dive deep into how Thao found her passion for stories and the steps she took to become a literary agent. We discuss how she learned to sell manuscripts, we walk through different kinds of book deals, get into details like what sub rights are in contracts, and shine some light on the financial side of being a literary agent. We talk about commercial hooks in query letters and her experience as a marginalized literary agent and a champion for representation. And Thao unpacks some of her favorite query letters and why they stood out to her. (P.S. You can download these query letters on her shownotes page!)

Special note about this episode: A lot has changed from the time of the original interview back in January to the time of the release of Thao's podcast episode in May. As of March this year, Thao has changed to full-time agenting and no longer handles royalties for the agency. Everything in Thao's episode is accurate for when our interview took place. ENJOY!

Say 'Hi' to Thao Le on Twitter:

Head over to Thao’s shownotes page at to download three of Thao’s favorite query letters that caught her eye! You’ll also find all the resources and books mentioned in her episode, tweetable quotes, and the timestamps of highlights throughout the entire conversation!


If you enjoyed this episode, I’d really love your support in growing our community by subscribing to us on iTunes, and leaving a rating and review. These specific steps help to increase our visibility on iTunes which really helps new listeners discover us. A huge heartfelt thank you for your time and support! You can click here to go directly to our iTunes page!

182 episodes available. A new episode about every 10 days averaging 66 mins duration .