My agent search has begun. So while I have several posts in progress including (but not limited to):
- Review for extremely helpful and fun guide by Kirsty Stuart for making money travel blogging,
- Review for another terrific resource for bloggers, The Blogger’s Guide to Freelancing by Ali Luke,
- A descriptive piece on steampunk,
- Getting attached to fictional characters (and how sometimes writers need to kill off key characters).
But it’s only relevant and timely that I update you on my agent search, as well as the resources – yep, there’ll be some affiliate links- I’m using during the dreaded query and synopsis-writing phase:
Submitting and Formatting Your Manuscript by Chuck Sambuchino
Written by freelance writer/editor Chuck Sambuchino, this Writer’s Digest book guides you on the process of writing, formatting and querying both fiction and non-fiction. You’ll find invaluable tips on querying, cover letters, manuscript pages; as well as samples for anything you will need to write.
In addition to novel writing and submitting, the book includes sections for non-fiction, memoirs, graphic novels, screenplays and more.
2014 Guide to Agents
After having spent two hours and having only completed a detailed list for a handful of agents, I wanted to have a readily compiled book at hand with tips on the querying process as well:
2014 Guide to Agents includes contact details, agent interviews and their genre preferences, query letters agents liked, percentage of new writers vs. established writers, contracts and more.
Yes, I couldn’t recommend this book enough. That said, always check the website of the agency in question and combine the information you find in the book and on the site. Agencies tend to update their needs, so make sure you do your homework well.
For instance, while some agencies preference for romance is not mentioned in the book, you might find they’re especially after romance these days. Yeah, I’m speaking from experienceJ
AgentQuery, by their definition, is an online database of literary agents.
Agent Query is more than just a database, however. It includes information on the industry, including genre descriptions, reasons for needing an agent, other resources for writers and more.
QueryTracker, by their definition, is a free database of agents and publishers. It’s free to register, and you can use it to track your own queries, hence the appropriateness of the name. The site has been repeatedly named as one of the best sites for writers by Writer’s Digest.
Literary Agent Janet Reid runs the essential query critique blog Query Shark where she analyzes real queries on what works and what doesn’t. Read her submission guidelines (and the rich well of previously critiqued queries) before querying yourself. There’s a chance she already corrected your mistakes and evaluated your strengths and weaknesses on somebody else’s query.
Writer’s Digest Posts on Agents
Just keep clicking on the related links you come across while reading these. There’s a ton, and it would take me months to generate a complete list here. I’ve, however, selected a few to get you started:
This is a very insightful and practical resource on all aspects of writing in general.
But when you are looking for an agent, there are some questions you’d like answered to do a better job, including:
– What does an agent want to see when they google you?
– What do they want or hate in a query letter?
– Is it OK to query multiple agents at the same agency?
– How many queries without answers should be a warning sign for you to improve that query?
(*Please note that some of these have been excerpted from the 2014 Guide to Literary Agents, the book recommended earlier in this post.)
Frankly, I was a fan of The Write Life before. But these posts above turned me into an addict.:)
Of course it’s a good idea not to only apply these tips, but take notes of the names of agents that offered them as well. They might be amongst the people you’ll be submitting your work to after all.
Agents information are generally featured on the websites of the literary agencies they work for. However they tend to offer even more about what they want through interviews, tweets and blogs.
So learn what you can about each agent’s preferences before you send that query letter.
Currently, I’m absorbing and deploying these resources. Please add what you use in the comments.J
And good luck to everyone, whether you need it for inspiration, submission or just selling more.:)