Stressful experiences apparently can leave you with a strong sense of accomplishment. Finally, after several weeks dedicating significant blocks of time to researching agents, building my agent list, over-analyzing my query letter, bemoaning the much more difficult (for me) synopsis, and painstakingly assembling the requested materials for each individual agent, I have begun to contact agents. Two wanted a simple, unadorned query letter. One wanted a query letter and a synopsis. Another’s site required a query letter, synopsis, the first three chapters, and an author bio (that was a lengthy email). Each agent seems to request something different, which is totally within rights. Naturally, after each email is sent, I panic that I spelled the agent’s name wrong, or used the wrong gender address, or included the incorrect materials. Thankfully, I don’t think I’ve done any of those things yet.
Publishers Marketplace has been remarkably helpful. For $20, I get a month of access. The top dealmakers search sorts agents by a few performance statistics, the “who represents” search enables me to find who represented a certain book, and the deal makers search enables me to search for agents by criteria, for example: fiction, debut. If you’re going to spend money one place in the agent search process, I say do it there.
Of course, there’s a lot more to do- many rejects to go through, many more agents to query, and probably revisions still to make as I find new and better information. I got my first rejection this morning, actually- a personal rejection, not a form rejection, and I’ve heard that’s a good thing. The agent simply didn’t like my specific topic. I’m taking this to mean that I am one rejection closer to acceptance.
Next week I hope to be more settled in the process and post a book review, so keep checking back!
Please post a comment with any agent blog that you like to recommend.
As always, thanks for reading!