Thoughts on finding an agent

I finished another (not the final) read-though and revision of Wine Bottles and Broomsticks yesterday, so naturally, I’ve started the process of researching agents and agencies who might be interested in what I’ve got. My first reaction of this process is that it’s a soul-crushing experience.

I’ve only gotten as far as starting a list of agents to query once I’m ready. The best thing I can say about it thus far is that every agent is pretty clear about the stuff they’re interested in. The less awesome part is that I don’t see how my particular book is going to fit in. Not only that, I anticipate being involved in the process of research, querying, not hearing back (standard procedure), and fretting for a good long while.

The query letter also has me worried. As a hiring manager for a number of years, I know that the cover letter makes all the difference in hiring and even a well-written one can suck. Furthermore, I also know that a generic cover-letter doesn’t do anyone any favors. I expect query letters more or less work the same. After all, the query letter is only an application to have your work looked at. Writing an individualized query to speak to the specific stated interests of various agents could take two or three days each. To put a cherry on that sundae, I’ve got no more than a handful of sentences to sell the idea of the book, so they go on to read the sample (assuming they’ve requested one), and then hope that all of those things get mefrom ‘nope, boring’ to ‘go on…’

The bottom line is that even though I’ve got quite enough work left to on the manuscript, there’s a lot more work to be done in trying to get the thing sold. A lot of work. I don’t mind work, but I have no idea what to expect or how best to approach this, so the mountain looks a lot higher. On the bright side, I’ve got a day-job, so yay for that.

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6 thoughts on “Thoughts on finding an agent

  1. Kat says:

    Don’t pass up Twitter pitch contests. Favorites in those are “warm” leads, and far more likely to ask to see more. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lead with your story. A log-line, a slogan, whatever you call it. What you’ve been using (“the problem with witch hunts is that sometimes you find one”) is good. Go from there. Also check your library for books on query letters that worked. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel your pain. Query letters are brutal. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Onion says:

    I think the same maxim that holds for writing novels holds for writing query letters: know your audience.

    Liked by 1 person

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