Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Agent Research and Querying, plus an Awesome Giveaway...


Sometimes, you think a book is so valuable that you buy two copies....Which gives me the opportunity to either go through the hassle of trying to return it, or having an awesome giveaway. So you guessed it...

I'm giving away one copy of the 2015 Guide To Literary Agents.

If you know me, you know I a HUGE proponent of doing your research, no matter what it's for.  For the past month or so I've been researching agents. Before I began, I created a list of the places I would look at to research each potential agent. My checklist looked like this:

AGENT RESEARCH CHECK LIST:
  • Agent’s name and agency website
  • @twitter
  • Writer’s Digest Blog information
  • GLA (Guide to Literary Agents)
  • Publisher’s Marketplace likes and dislikes
  • Blog accounts
  • Facebook 
  • Interview information
  • Editors and Predators, Writer Beware and Absolute Writer (the Water Cooler)
  • QueryTracker.com
  • Do a Google Search
Feel free to copy and paste my list, so you have it for future reference...

I created a document with the above information. Once each agent checked out,  (and not all of them did) I personalized the query, based on my research, and copied their submission guidelines and email address into their query/document. Being organized is key here! Whether you do it on paper, in a spreadsheet or on a file folder. Keep track of who you query and when you query them (leave space for a response, too). 

Every agent has specific guidelines you have to follow. Don't fool yourself into thinking it won't matter if you send them the whole manuscript, when they ask for ten, fifteen or fifty pages... It does matter. The rules are there for a reason. Be sure to follow them to the very best of your ability. This is your introduction to them. Show them that you are paying attention to what they want.

I would suggest if you are querying a novel or a non-fiction work, that you make several submission packages, so that you can easily adapt to each agents requirements. Some agents accept attachments and some want your letter and your submission in the body of an email.  So pay attention to HOW they want to see your work. 

Putting your best foot forward is like having the perfect handshake. Not too soft. Not too strong. Not too sweaty. Just right...

If you would like to win a copy of the 2015 Guide to Literary Agents, please pop over to my website,  click on one of the social media links and say something about my services or my site and leave a comment on this post. 


For my non querying friends....Our babies are happy and loving the new house.

Please come back on March the 6th to see who won the copy of the 2015 Guide to Literary Agents and to join in on a discussion on rejections.






46 comments:

  1. Great points Sharon. We should do our homework.

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  2. Thanks, Sharon.
    Query Tracker is another resource.

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  3. Following directions is an important indication that one is capable of working with others. Thanks for the post.

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  4. Great list. I've already added it to my 'Query Agents' folder. Thanks!

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  5. Great research process, Sharon! I also find it helpful to read something that the the agent or publishing professional has written themselves. A red flag goes up for me if I see many typos in different things they write or their writing doesn't resonate with me.

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  6. Mayhew, what about Absolute Write? It's an excellent source for finding the good in agents and the bad. Great resource here, my friend.

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  7. Great advice, Sharon! ALWAYS do your homework and learn to trust your gut!

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  8. I especially appreciate your point regarding following directions. It could be discouraging for an agent (or anyone) to see that a writer doesn't read.

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  10. Another great post. Yes, I need to learn more about agent research, and selecting an agent. Would love to win the book. Thanks. Oops, made a typo error, so I reposted this comment.

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  11. I also posted your giveaway, and the link to your website/

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  12. Thank you for the tips. I will add this list to my resources board.

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  13. hi blom!
    for sure you spend lots of time doing your homework and you're soooo organized in mostly everything you do. and whats even better is you share all your hard work with your blogger friends. wow! how cool is that! you're the best blogger buddy ever!
    ...hugs from lenny

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  14. You're so right about doing research to find the right agent. What a thoughtful giveaway! You're a great resource.

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  15. Great advice, Sharon!

    Your babies do look comfy! HOpe you are enjoying your new place, too!

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  17. Good Advice Sharon. In fact, I have a question to ask you about this. Will try to send you a message soon.
    Kimberly Cowger

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  18. Excellent post, Sharon!! Great list. Everyone most definently needs to do their homework before subbing. Great reminder and great advice!! And how sweet another giveaway. You are so good.

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  19. Good list. Taking notes on this, as organization is something I want to be better at. Thanks so much for your time to share with us all!

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  20. Great tips, Sharon. And Literary Rambles would be a good resource for those researching agents who represent PB, MG, and YA authors.

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  21. Really great tips, and I'm off to begin my own spreadsheet right now! :) Thanks for the inspiration and for the chance to win a copy of the book too. Glad to have found your site!

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  22. Searching for an agent can be overwhelming. Thanks for the fantastic advice. :)

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  23. Great list - and great reminder that it is up to us to do our homework. AND for us to remember that not every agent would be a good fit with our writing projects.

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  24. I used a spreadsheet for this stuff when I was in the trenches. So glad not to be there right now, but nothing says that season won't come again.

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  25. Great advice. I love researching. Would also love to win the copy of the book!

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  26. Great reminders for everyone, Sharon - thanks for posting!

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  27. I tweeted your site under @lindsayfouts, thanks for the post

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  28. This is a super list. Thanks so much, Sharon!

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  29. All good advice. Thanks for sharing this information and for the giveaway.

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  30. It's true, Sharon...we need to do our homework. :) and I love the template you've provided...great to keep handy...it's good to have all the info in one place.
    And that's a great giveaway...I'll share about it!

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  31. Great, great advice...thank you.

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  32. What a great list. Thanks for sharing.

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  33. I know that you are very helpful.

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  34. I love your checklist - thanks for this post!

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  35. That's a great list, and your babies are precious, Sharon!

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  36. Fantastic checklist! I will definitely be using that for reminders while doing my agent HW. Thank you!!

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  37. Hi Sharon! Thank you for a great post and helpful checklist. Such generous advice!

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  38. What a great post! I'm bookmarking this so I can refer back to it again and again. Thank you!

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  39. Great, great post...very helpful. Thanks.

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  40. Great advice as always, Sharon, thank you!

    Are you querying soon? Good luck!!

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  41. Great advice, Sharon. Thanks.

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  42. Hi Sharon - looks like you've been so busy .. and yes your two babies look exceedingly content in their new home - so pleased for you ...

    Cheers Hilary

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  43. But this book is absolutely useless. Pretty much everything out of Writers Digest is. They are not on your side as a writer, they serve advertisers (including predatory "vanity mills") and the industry.
    But why would anybody buy (or even use) a book that costs money, is not searchable, is out of date... instead of just using AgentQuery.com??

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