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Old 02-24-2013, 11:48 PM   #1
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How did you gather Agent info to query?

Two years ago I finished my first novel and began querying agents. At the time, the best source for agent information seemed to be the AAR website. It was an incredibly tedious project; find an agent who repped my genre, go to the agency website, sift through the individual agents, then query the appropriate agent for that agency.

Over a period of nine months, I queried 50-60 agents, with little interest, so I decided to e-publish my novel. A few months later, I also e-published my sequel. Now I'm on the verge of finishing my third novel, a stand-alone work, and have decided to subject myself to that agonizing process again.(I think my new work is more commercially viable)

Is there a better way to go about this? Is there a more complete or succinct list somewhere? What did you do?

I would appreciate any and all responses.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:52 PM   #2
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agentquery.com

Excellent site!
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:50 AM   #3
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Querytracker is another very good site. Search for agents who rep your genre. If there are books in your genre that you enjoy, find out who reps that author. I used the above method, and if there was an agent who seemed like a particularly good fit (like they repped multiple authors I liked), then I dug a little deeper to find interviews or whatnot to get a better sense or perhaps more current idea of his/her taste. It's tedious, yes, and there really isn't much a shortcut. Good luck!
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:11 AM   #4
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The two mentioned sites are great as I have been compiling my list to use when I query. I check on here in the bewares room to confirm the agency is legitimate. I also look on writers digest any time a new agent alert is put up. Even if the agent listed doesn't rep my genre I go to the agency site to see if another agent does. I haven't sent out a single query and I've put in at least a days worth of research already.
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:14 AM   #5
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I've found a lot of great info in the blogosphere and twitter, but gathering it is more time consuming and ad-hoc. I have a spreadsheet I continually update with agents that look promising, along with a note and/or hyperlink about where I found out about them.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:13 AM   #6
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Thanks! That should be enough to keep me off the street for weeks.
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:08 PM   #7
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This may not be relevant, as I'm UK based rather than US, but I found a couple of links which gave some recommendations and quick links to reputable agents:

http://www.williamsenpublications.co...carol_wyer.xls

http://www.literaryrejections.com/uk-literary-agencies/

I'm sure there are some out there similar for US agents - I didn't want to scatter gun and thought it would be better to target the most appropriate / reputable agents.

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Old 03-01-2013, 02:27 AM   #8
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QueryTracker.net worked for me.
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:10 AM   #9
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Another vote for www.querytracker.net--which is also great for keeping track of the queries you've sent and the responses you've received.
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:43 AM   #10
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An added cavaet: both Agent Query and Query Tracker are excellent *starting points* for research. QT has the bonus of the tracking features, so you don't need a spreadsheet of your own. But once you have winnowed the field, you still need to hit up agency sites, agent blogs, agent Twitter streams, (and even AAR listings) to get the best possible picture. The lists of who reps whom can be especially illuminating as to agent tastes within broader genres.

You probably know that, but in case someone new is reading, there it is for them.
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aardvark View Post
This may not be relevant, as I'm UK based rather than US, but I found a couple of links which gave some recommendations and quick links to reputable agents:

http://www.williamsenpublications.co...carol_wyer.xls

http://www.literaryrejections.com/uk-literary-agencies/
Thank you, Aardvark, for the link. Excellent information. Shame that it's only for London agencies, though. There are quite a few based in Edinburgh, I believe. I did not come across the above links in my searches and ended up subscribing to the listings on Writers & Artists. I haven't gone through them yet. Wish I'd seen your post sooner!!! Thanks again.
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:09 AM   #12
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I'm still developing my data but I began a database and loaded all pertinent info into the database. The first time it took me two to four hours average to identify an agent and fill in the data. I included the website so I can confirm my data quickly. This morning I queried ten agents and had plenty of time to do other things.
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Old 03-02-2013, 06:41 PM   #13
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I know I mentioned agentquery.com, but I forgot to add that with whatever site you use to research agents, it should go without saying to click through to the agent's website and also do an online search re: the agency and agent. It's time consuming but well worth it. (Also, check here on AW re: agents and agencies.)
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:42 AM   #14
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Another vote for the two major sites listed above (although QT was really confusing for me--I can't seem to navigate it), and also you might pull some of your favorite books from the shelf--ones in the genre you write in--and check the acknowledgments page. Most authors put a "thank you" for their agents and editors in there somewhere.
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:12 AM   #15
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You can also get a membership for Publishers Marketplace for roughly $20/month (although I think it went up recently). That site lets you look at which agents have made deals in your genre and has some other useful features such as listing the top dealmakers by genre.
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:36 AM   #16
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Yep, querytracker and then I went to the agent's website. Most of them have one. I kept a "file" for each one. You get a lot of info of what they want to see in a query, and it's usually the most up to date - they may not update query tracker or where ever you find them. The most reliable info is on their own site!

I also would google them. See if they have given any interviews where they say what they want to see in a query. The agent wants to know that you know who they are, you know?
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