There are thousands of agents out there. Some are good, some are bad. Some only represent fiction, some only nonfiction. Some only look at certain genre--young adult, romance, horror, science fiction. You get the idea. You might find it a little overwhelming, separating the wheat from the chaff. The purpose of this guide is to break the process down into a manageable, step-by-step process.
- Search for books on Amazon.com that are similar to yours.
- Note from which publishing house they came.
- Do a search on Google for the name of the publisher plus the term "literary agent". For example:
avon "literary agent"
"three rivers press" "literary agent"
- Spend an afternoon on the internet until you have a good variety. I'd start with at least 50.
- Look up each agent on Preditors and Editors. Cross off those that seem shady.
- Do further research online about each agent. Prioritize your list based on your findings.
- Develop a database of your qualified agents. Include contact information and submission requirements.
- Start querying. Keep a log of the date for each query letter as well as the dates of any responses, whether they are rejections or requests to see more of your manuscript.
- If an agent requests a partial of your manuscript, wait three weeks before following up. If they request a full manuscript, wait six weeks before following up.
If you have $30 to spare, use it for a one-year subscription to Writer's Market. If you don't have $30 to spare, start saving now. Writer's Market gives you access to a massive database of qualified agents and editors. They also provide a submission tracker database created specifically to track your submissions to various agents.
Write Like a Pro: Targeting Agents Online [Writer Mama Riffs on Raising A Writing Career Alongside Your Kids]
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