Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Finding an Agent - Which Agents to Query

So you have your kick-ass query…now where do you send it? Do some research. If you write historical fiction, check out the acknowledgements in your favorite books, they’re bound to be agents listed. You want to make sure that you are contacting real agents though, and not scam artists. A real agent will never charge you a reading fee.

This website is great, http://www.aaronline.org/ . You can search by name or genre and each agent lists contact info and preferences. Start by querying agents that represent your genre.

Make sure you read individual guidelines. Some agents want only a query, while some want sample chapters. Some prefer email queries while others like snail mail. The first step to finding an agent is making that agent happy by following their guidelines.

Know who you’re querying. Even though my query wasn’t your standard, “Dear So and So,” I made sure that each letter I sent out had the agent’s name and contact info in the upper left corner, even the ones I emailed. That way, agents could tell that I knew who I was sending the letter to and that I put some thought into who I want my agent to be.

One more thing: Never ever ever send out a mass emailed query. This is a good way to offend a lot of people. Agents want to make sure that you’ve done the research and are querying them for a reason. It’s rude to lump all of them in together and comes off as lazy. This is your career…take the time!


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