The last little while of my life has been consumed with the process of finding an agent. Now that I am in the final days of this whirlwind of a roller coaster, I wanted to talk about the tips and tricks I've learned.
And then, when it's all said and done, realize that they are only suggestions and that anything I say might not be the way some agents would advise.
I think the agent query thing is pretty old-school. What I have to say could be found anywhere. There are a couple tricks I've learned though, and they very well could be the difference between finding representation and not.
First, let's talk about finding agents.
My best advice is signing up with publishers marketplace.
It is an exclusive list of deals made by publishers and agents. It costs $20/month. For a long time I thought I didn't really need it, but I haven't regretted a single cent I've spent in the last two months. I feel suddenly very connected to the publishing world. By using reverse engineering, I found agents who are selling what I write right now. I don't have to guess at it. I spent a couple days going through deals from the most recent and backwards and submitting to agents who looked right for my genre. Of course, I always cross-referenced my research by looking at their websites and other resources.
Other helpful tools agent query
and query tracker.
I used both of these resources to see either more info about each agent or to track the average response time. I also like the Absolute Write Water Cooler where you can do research on any agent or publisher through other people's experiences.
I have to admit, I've used all of these. When I get a request from an agent I always check the water cooler site to see what the buzz is about that agent.
Coming next, query letters...