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  1. #1
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    Agents...where to look.

    I've heard about agents all my life. Not from other authors but from depictions of them and such. Agents that publish. What to look for in an agent. What agents want. Etc, etc.

    With all the information about agents where does one begin to look for an agent?

    I've done internet searches but got lost in the results. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Isn't there a WN sticky thread regarding "where to look for an agent"? If not, why not? So many newbies seem to ask this same question.

    Have you checked agentquery.com, Micheal? Or WN's Resources forum? Seek and ye shall find.


    *_*
    Last edited by Kitty Foyle; 10-23-2011 at 05:22 AM.

  3. #3
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    Agents don't publish; they sell stories to publishers in return for a percentage of advances and royalties paid to the writers. To land an agent, you write a query letter. (There are other ways, like being really famous.)

    A good on-line source for agent stuff--and query writing, too--is AgentQuery. Also, you can verify an agent's bona fides at Writer Beware and Preditors & Editors. Refer to each agent's website for submission instructions; they are not all the same.

    Query widely and simultaneously. Avoid exclusives.

    Don't pay anyone to represent, edit, or publish your work.

    Hope this helps. Good luck.

  4. #4
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    jayce, maybe we should ask the mods to sticky your reply. I've seen you say virtually the same thing to what seems like a multitude of millions.

    *_*

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitty Foyle View Post
    jayce, maybe we should ask the mods to sticky your reply. I've seen you say virtually the same thing to what seems like a multitude of millions.

    *_*
    Not that it shouldn't be done, but articles responding to this question have been stickied to the "Agents" page for years (I know, because the lead article is mine) and it hasn't stopped the question from being asked.

    Want to find an agent? There are articles concerning how to approach this linked to the "Agents" page of this website, righthand column.

  6. #6
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    I've seen you say virtually the same thing to what seems like a multitude of millions.
    Yeah, the question kept coming up so, a long time ago, I put a sticky on my desktop (Mac, that is) so I can cut and paste it, links and all--with minor modifications tailored to suit the given situation. (Does that make me insincere, saying good luck and all?)

    Didn't think anyone would notice, but I didn't allow for the sharp eyes of... KITTY FOYLE, WEB DETECTIVE!!!

  7. #7
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    The first question I ever asked at WN was how to get an agent. I was treated like crap for asking. Oh, no, not again, not someone asking about how to get an agent.

    I didn't know about agentquery or any other site. I came here because it was supposed to be a site for writers. Seek and ye shall find? He is seeking, that's why he's here, and that's why he's asking. It is an appropriate question for a newbie to ask.

    I think it's wonderful that Jayce answers that question so often, with kindness, and has created a response to plug in every time someone asks. I wish I'd received such a generous response.

  8. #8
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    You can also go to your local library (in the States) and ask for copies of the annual Literary Marketplace. (It's usually in the reference section and often behind the librarian's desk as they use it as a reference). This is the bible of the publishing industry on agents, publishers, and supporting functions. There is an indexed (by category) Agent section of this. You still have to research the agents listed, as some stinkers do get through. But it's a free-use source and one that the industry itself uses.

  9. #9
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    And don't overlook Querytracker.net as a resource. The premium membership ($25.00 a year) offers tons of great features, but the free version is also quite good. All of the agents in their database are vetted and screened. If you go to the Resources tab on the right of the main page, you will find a link to the discussion forum, where you can receive some good feedback on query letters, the first five pages, the synopsis, etc.

    AgentQuery (already mentioned here) also has a discussion forum called AgentQueryConnect.

    Despite all these helpful links, Michael, you will still need to do a lot of personal research. Once you find a list of potential agents, you need to do some research on each one. Google their names, read the interviews and the blog posts. Follow them on Twitter. See if they have a FaceBook page. Literary agents today are highly socially connected. If you're savvy, you can make this public presence work to your advantage by learning to read between the lines. There are agents--very successful agents--who post regularly on Twitter. Even though they rep my genre, I would never consider querying them because I don't feel comfortable with the way they mock some of the poor souls who have queried them in the past. It seems unprofessional to me, especially when they post revealing information about the writer. However, I've also discovered some wonderful agents on FB or Twitter who otherwise have a very low Internet presence. These are the agents who have chosen not to be listed in databases like AQ or QT. Many of them are open to queries. They just don't want to be inundated by them.

    You may not like the whole social networking thing, but it's becoming the way the writing biz functions.

    Jeanne

  10. #10
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    Micheal, have you tried looking in the acknowledgements of books similar to yours? I've seen that advice somewhere here. Authors usually thank their agents. It might narrow down the overwhelming number of agents to research, or at least give you a place to start.
    This is exactly how I found my agent.

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