Monday, September 17, 2012

Making a List of Agents

Tip of the Day: Publisher's Weekly is gathering information for an upcoming story on African-American publishing. If you have information for them, check out their request.

I'm researching agents. Yay me. Actually, this isn't a difficult task, just time consuming. Inspired by my crit partner Lisa Tiffin, I set out to list 30 agents for my first round of queries. So how did I come up with this list?

1. Agents who have said nice things about my writing. Or just something. :) I save my submission logs from previous novels. If an agent requested a full or complimented my pages, I'm querying them again.

But wait. It's not that simple. Some of those agents are very busy with clients now and are no longer taking queries. Others have changed agencies. So I looked up each agent. If he/she is no longer taking queries, he/she may have a fellow agent at the same agency who is looking for my genre. So I googled each agent and each agency. That formed the basis of my list.

2. Agents of happy friends. Of course. For example, at MiGWriters, we recently ran a series of interviews with the agents of MiGWriters. Naturally, I'll be querying the agents in our blog interviews who are accepting queries.

3. Agents I researched through Literary Rambles's Agent Spotlight. Casey McCormick gathers all the online information she can find about agents accepting queries so you can decide if they're a good fit for your writing. I still looked up each agency's website, though. Even agents here who sounded great sometimes had fellow agents more open to speculative YA.

4. Verla Kay's Blueboards. Check out the Agent Response Time boards and then research the agency's website.

It's safe to say that I didn't choose any agent without seeing their agency website. That's how to find the best agent to query, get the guidelines, and find the email addresses. I added email addresses and submission guidelines to my Excel spreadsheet for submissions for this novel. Save those spreadsheets for the future!

I wasn't very impressed by Agent Query or Query Tracker. I found missing agents and outdated information. Your mileage may vary, but I say, always check the agency website. I'm not a very good Twitter stalker, either. Mostly, I find out about agents through other writers as I outlined above. But we'll see what happens when I expand my list past 30.

-- Kate, Miss Perfecting the Pages



Lisa Tiffin said...

Hooray! Go, Kate, Go! Can I place bets on how many full/partial requests you get on your awesome novel?

Kate Fall said...

Oh, sure, bets are welcome. I'm at 1 response/1 rejection so far!

Megg Jensen said...

You might want to check out Twitter. That's where their personalities tend to come out.

Andrea Mack said...

Thanks for these great strategies, Kate! I'll be starting my own list soon.

Kate Fall said...

Megg, I'm on Twitter a lot, but I'm not a great stalker. I forget if people are agents, writers, or editors.

DeenaML said...