Researching agents

October 11, 2009

I spent much of this past week researching literary agents for my newest novel, a contemporary fantasy.  I learned quite a lot.  Since I know that others of you out there and in WotJ are also querying, I thought I’d share a couple of websites that I found useful.

AgentQuery (www.agentquery.com) – This website for researching agents was recommended by several fellow writers.  It has a good search engine that allows you to select multiple genres in a single search (a really nice feature that few other sites support).  There’s even a box for “agents actively seeking new clients.”  SWEET!  The agent profiles appear up-to-date and detailed, including the agent’s interests, submission instructions, and recent sales data.

Publishers Marketplace (www.publishersmarketplace.com) – This site was recommended by literary agent Noah Lukeman on his blog.  The site maintains a professional database of agent deals and publishing data.  It charges a $20 monthly fee.  I sprang for the fee and am glad that I did.  A simple search yielded a list of the top 100 agents in my genre, sorted by the number of deals they brokered in the last twelve months.  You can also see some of the details on those deals: book title, a back-cover summary of the book, the editor and house, agent, and a $ category.  Not all of these agents will be looking for new clients, so I’ll have to double-check their profiles.

Using these resources and a few others, I’ve compiled a sizable list of potential agents. So what’s next?  I’ll check the agents’ websites (and possibly their blogs) and rank my top picks.  Once I have my ordered list, I can begin the query process.  Oh, joy!  And you thought writing was a lot of work.