Sunday, September 20, 2009

Finding a Literary Agent

Ugh! I'm very behind on my blogging. Put it down to writing a new novel, having the flu and being lazy.

There has been a lot of talk among the writers I hang out with on the subject of finding an agent, so I want to talk about that some. It has probably always been difficult but with a tight publishing market and everyone wanting to be a writer it's gotten about ten steps beyond difficult.

And it is darn near essential for those of us who are novelists. (Did I mention my novel Warrior's Duty and my co-authored novel Talon of the Raptor Clan both being on Amazon *grin*)

But back on topic, how do you find an agent?

First, finish your novel. Seriously. Don't even think about it until the novel is complete and edited.

Then research agents and research writing queries.

Some good sources for learning about queries:

Guide to Literary Agents

Pub Rants, Agent Kristin Nelson's Blog

Agent Nathan Bransford's Blog


How to Write a Great Query Letter by agent Noah Lukeman

I strongly recommend all four of those. If you read and apply them and spend time polishing that query, you'll have a query that has a good chance of at least garnering some looks at your work and that's a start.

Now to researching agents. I don't think that you need to know where agents went to high school or every single book they ever sold, but you do need to know that they're legitimate, that they're accepting queries and that they're interested in the genre of novel you've written. I'll point you in the direction for the best starting point for that information in my very strong opinion and it has links to every important source. It is great for making a list of possible agents and puts links for further research at your fingertips:

Query Tracker

I realize I mentioned this recently, but I can't recommend it highly enough, and, no, they don't pay me.

More on a literary agent search next time, but I hope this helps.

2 comments:

cipherqueen said...

All awesome sites. Thanks for posting this.

Mary Lindsey said...

Great post, Jeanne.