Today, we’re continuing Scoti Domeij’s post on How to Find an Agent. Scoti is a freelance writer, workshop teacher, and leads writing critique groups as well as a successful writing group in Colorado Springs. She recently wrote her first book and acquired her first agent. Here’s her next points of advice for how to go about finding an agent for yourself:
7. Read Publishers Weekly (PW). Available at the library, Publishers Weekly http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/home/index.html prints a weekly list of “Hot Deals.” Read this list to know which agent in your genre is selling manuscripts to which publishers. PW makes readers aware of new agencies and agents. It also announces which editors left publishers to start their own literary agency. By the time these agents’ listings are in the above listed books, their client lists will be full.
8. Check out The Association of Authors Representatives (AAR). http://aaronline.org/ AAR, a not-for-profit membership organization, is active in all areas of the publishing, theater, motion picture and television industries and related fields. It lists literary agents, their blogs, websites and if their members accept queries via email or snail mail. The AAR’s equivalent in the UK is The Association of Author’s Agents. http://www.agentsassoc.co.uk/index.php/Directory_of_Members . If you write screenplays, obtain a list of approved agencies from the Writers Guild of America. http://www.wga.org/
9. Ask a published author for a referral. One writer pitched his book to a well-known author. Excited by the topic, the author recommended the beginning writer to his agent. Alas, the writer was truly a beginner. The agent passed, but provided great feedback on his writing.
10. Make a list of agents to contact. After researching agents that represent your genre, charge no reading fees, accept queries, and want new clients, decide who to contact first. Before sending your query, head over to Preditors and Editors. http://pred-ed.com/pubwarn.htm Scroll halfway down the page and read “Some General Rules for Spotting a Scam Literary Agency.”
11. Read Rachelle Gardner’s blog. http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/ Rachelle’s blog consistently makes the Writers Digest’s 101 Best Websites for Writer’s. She offers writers the inside scoop from an agent’s perspective on writing and publishing. Check out her articles and links.
12. And how did I obtain my agent? I participated in a critique group for seven years. I wrote a book proposal that took months and months to write, critique, edit, and polish. Then I polished a query email and shot them off to two agents that I wanted to represent me. One asked to see the proposal. Three days after signing the contract, the other agent emailed and asked for my proposal based upon my query email to his info@literaryagent email.
It may take months or years to find an agent. In the meantime, hone your writing skills. Build up your writing credits. And never, ever give up.