Finding a booking agent who believes in your music is the first step in building a successful touring career.

But at a time when record sales are plunging and more artists are turning to the road to make up for lost revenue, busy agents are being more discerning than ever about which new acts to represent.

Here are some tips on how to increase your chances of getting picked up by an agency.

Demonstrate your drawing power

Don't bother shopping for a booking agent until you have a proven history of selling tickets.

"Wanting to play more shows is not the reason'' to seek an agent, says Larry Webman, an agent at Paradigm Talent Agency. "The reason is that your career is growing and you can't handle it anymore . . . No booking agent wants to sign a band that's at square one."

Webman recently signed the Denver-based rock act Meese after hearing from the band's manager that it was getting local radio play and selling up to 700 concert tickets in the market. Meese, which plans to release its debut album on Atlantic in 2009, had toured throughout the Midwest and could draw crowds in surrounding cities as well, he says.

Click here to read the full article, including key tips in the areas of publicity, self-booking and more.