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Status: Releasing Entranced on February 17!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Gathering Agent Info

I've started the tedious task of getting all my agent info together. I'm doing this for my husband, but it's good for me, because hopefully by next month I'll be using this information for my own book. (Crossing fingers!)

I've come up with some nifty ideas as I do this, and I want to share them with you, since many of you are also researching agents.

1) Make a spreadsheet. I included all of these as headers: agency, agent name, member AAR, physical address, phone number, email address, blog/twitter site, website, preferred genres, requires synopsis (y/n), books represented, turn around time, preferred query method [snailmail/email], format of query [attachment, first five pages, etc], date query sent, response. Did I miss anything? Of course, we haven't sent out any queries yet, but I like being able to see everything about the agent (and the other agents) all in one spot. There are some agents that after I research them, I get that warm fuzzy good feeling inside. Crazy, huh? Those agents get their names highlighted.

2) Google your agent. They're going to Google you, if they take you on (you might want to try that too. See what's out there about you). Googling your agent comes up with all kinds of fun stuff: what other clients have said about them, interviews they may have done, and personal information that gives you a kind of understanding about them that you may not get otherwise. (We could probably add a "Comments" section to the spreadsheet so you can include this information as well.)

3) Go to their blogs/Twitter account. Of course, this is pretty obvious, but if you really want to know your agent, take a look at what they're putting out there for you to read. They may have some major pet peeves or preferences not listed anywhere else.

4) Use a tracking website. This is optional, especially since we're keeping track of it all in our spreadsheet. I did find an interesting tracking website. I haven't used it, so I can't provide any real feedback. For $20 a year or $4 a month, this literary website will allow you to keep a list of agents you're querying, track submissions (they do have an email service, but that is NOT RECOMMENDED. Do you own emailing), store templates, keep notes on agents, etc. Basically the same as our spreadsheet, so I may try it for a month and see if it's worth the effort. It does give you access to 1000 different agents to search through (and you don't have to pay to see those).

That's what I've come up with. Any other tips?

7 comments:

LMJ said...

You know, I just realized something: If a person ever wants to write a book, publish one, or find an agent, all they have to do is read your blog from the beginning to the end!! It's full of helpful info!! =D

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

I know some people enjoy this stage, but it's stressful for me. I think it's probably a good idea to make sure to note what you have sent to an agent (this can be easy to forget: "Did I send first 10 pages? Or just a query?). I know some agents will not respond, too, so I have a category, like "A rejection if no word by [this date]). But your methods are quite organized. Excellent examples. Thanks for your post!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Thanks for making a list - it's always nice to have a reference point. :)

Sara McClung ♥ said...

Great list! I have a spreadsheet too... And I have the Writer's Digest Guide to Agents book and also Jeff Herman's book of the same nature...

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Great, LMJ! That's pretty much the point!

Carolina, that's a great thing to add. I definitely need a space for all of the correspondence. It's not stressful yet, but I'm sure when we start querying, it will be.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Sara,I don't have those books. I think I will need to invest in them!

Kasie West said...

Great info. And good luck with finding the perfect agent for you (and your husband). :)

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