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A Step by Step Guide to Finding the Right Agent

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.

  1. Search for books on Amazon.com that are similar to yours.
  2. Note from which publishing house they came.
  3. 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"
  4. Spend an afternoon on the internet until you have a good variety. I'd start with at least 50.
  5. Look up each agent on Preditors and Editors. Cross off those that seem shady.
  6. Do further research online about each agent. Prioritize your list based on your findings.
  7. Develop a database of your qualified agents. Include contact information and submission requirements.
  8. 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.
  9. 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]

Check out the original article on my website.