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nancy sv
07-29-2007, 09:28 PM
I've been reading everything I can find about finding an agent, but haven't found this question answered anywhere. If it has already been discussed, would someone please send me the thread??

From what I've read, it is all about finding the RIGHT agent and the RIGHT publisher. But how does one go about finding that person/company? I have written a book about a bike trip we took through the Indian subcontinent (Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh) and have found some publishers that publish this type of book. However, I can't narrow down agents to approach. I've looked at some of the other books published to see if the authors thanks their agents, but they didn't. I've tried searching the web, but all the agents seem to have a list a mile long which makes me think I would just be doing a "hit or miss" type thing. Do I just start sending a query to a bunch of agents randomly?? Or is there some process for sorting this all out??

Thanks for whatever help you can give me!

Petroglyph
07-29-2007, 09:57 PM
Go to agentquery.com and search for agents who represent what you have written. Research the ones you find....not just their websites, but cross-reference the forum here (the Beware one). See who they represent....are their books like yours? Write a query letter and follow the agents' directions.

Check out the Top 20 List of Scam Agents and Preditors and Editors, as well. There may be links in the Beware forum, but if there aren't, check google for these sites.

Do the publishers you have found require an agent? I think having an agent is a good idea even if the publisher doesn't require agented submissions, but some publishers accept queries directly from writers.

And, good luck!

nancy sv
07-29-2007, 10:08 PM
Thanks! I'll check that out and be sure to do my homework!!

BrookieCookie777
07-30-2007, 11:06 PM
Yep. I agree . . .best to research now than risk getting that phone call of someone wanting to represent you - only to find out they are iffy. Good luck! Writer's House is a top agency that is pretty awesome. You can go to publishers market place online too. AAR and Preditors and Editors at another realm to do background checks.

nancy sv
07-31-2007, 02:46 AM
It all seems so overwhelming... I've been researching agents for about a week now. I guess it's time to just bite the bullet and start submitting...

Lauri B
07-31-2007, 03:54 AM
Hi Nancy,
You might want to ask Prevostprincess how she found her agent. She wrote a book about a giant road trip she and her husband took in a motor coach, and found both an agent and publisher. She is often here on the boards.Good luck!

nancy sv
07-31-2007, 04:15 AM
Thanks!! I'll contact her and see how it all worked for her.

Prevostprincess
08-06-2007, 02:52 AM
Hi Nancy,

I just saw this thread, so in addition to what I emailed you privately, I thought I would add:

I used agentquery.com and searched under "memoir." I thought that was the best fit for my book and it sounds like that's the case for yours.

Once you get the list of agents who rep memoir (as I recall it was about 150), you can go to their websites (there'll be links) and check them out more thoroughly, including what they've sold. I also tried to see if they rep'd anything else that was related to my book, figuring that couldn't hurt. So, for example, if they said (on their agentquery page) that in addition to memoir they liked "quirky" or "strong voices" or "travel" or "humor," I'd be more likely to contact them.

Hope that helps and best of luck!

nancy sv
08-06-2007, 04:14 AM
Thank you Doreen. That's exactly what I'm planning to do - it's good to hear that's the "right" way to do it!!

ColoradoGuy
08-06-2007, 08:18 AM
And don't be too discouraged if your first round of queries doesn't land you an agent. I sent out my first batch of about fifteen queries and four agents asked to see my full proposal. I went back and forth with one agent, who ultimately declined. However, from her comments (and from a couple of the other rejections as well) I gleaned key advice about giving my proposal a somewhat different slant--same concept, but a little different hook. My second round of queries, again about fifteen or so, brought me twice as many requests for the full proposal and ultimately landed me an agent perfect for what I was writing. She sold that one, and then my next book as well. So my advice is not to shotgun everyone on your initial list; save some for the tinkering you may need to do if you don't get a bite on your first round. The whole process from first queries to contract took about nine months for me.

nancy sv
08-06-2007, 08:21 PM
Good point. I sent out one round of queries and didn't have any takers, but I heard back from one with a lot of suggestions which I think are very valid. I will be incorporating them and them sendingout another batch in another month or so.

ThatGuy
08-07-2007, 09:34 AM
It all seems so overwhelming... I've been researching agents for about a week now. I guess it's time to just bite the bullet and start submitting...

Hi Nancy,

I researched agents for over a month and created a huge spreadsheet with all their info. Make sections that say the date you sent your query to an agent and when you heard back from them if at all. Can be daunting at times but well worth it.

-Paul

nancy sv
08-07-2007, 11:59 AM
Thanks Paul. I'm really going to have to figure out a system of organization that will work for all this. There are just so many agents out there... I wish there was some easier way, but apparently there isn't!

luckygyrl1005
08-08-2007, 10:11 PM
I've just finsihed my self help guide for parents with "special" kids. I have no clue where to look for an agent or publisher. It's only 20 pages long and has approx. 4741 words. As I said, it's a guide, not a book. Does anyone have any suggestions? I am at a total loss on what to do next.

nancy sv
08-08-2007, 11:51 PM
I'm clueless where you would look for that. But I think you should post your question in the freelance section - here in the middle of another thread I'm afraid it will get lost. There are a lot of very experienced authors here and I"m quite certain you will get some great ideas.

ColoradoGuy
08-09-2007, 02:13 AM
I've just finsihed my self help guide for parents with "special" kids. I have no clue where to look for an agent or publisher. It's only 20 pages long and has approx. 4741 words. As I said, it's a guide, not a book. Does anyone have any suggestions? I am at a total loss on what to do next.
As Nancy says, it is best to start another thread about it. However, as you describe it, I doubt you will be able to interest an agent in something that short because it is not clear who would publish it as a money-making endeavor. My advise would be to think about fleshing it out into something bigger. Survey the prescriptive guides for parents already out there and find a unique niche for yours.

Dude in Hammock
08-22-2007, 01:02 PM
I'm in the midst of this process now, and I've found this site to be very helpful in organizing the ordeal: http://www.querytracker.net/manuscripts.php

It's set up to help you keep track of who you've queried, how (email/paper), dates, responses, etc. It's great.

westcoast
08-22-2007, 09:30 PM
Hi Nancy,

I know exactly what you mean-- I'm going through the same process. I recently found this new blog, which claims to be "The Authors' Answer to Miss Snark." (Miss Snark being the infamous anonymous blogging agent)

http://misswrites.blogspot.com/

It is written by a writer in the process of pitching a book, and has some good tips on hunting/querying agents (practical advice), and looks like hopefully it will keep giving more good information if we're lucky. I'm going to stay tuned to it, and maybe you'll want to check it out too.

Best of luck!

JAG4584
08-22-2007, 11:45 PM
Hi Nancy,

I researched agents for over a month and created a huge spreadsheet with all their info. Make sections that say the date you sent your query to an agent and when you heard back from them if at all. Can be daunting at times but well worth it.

-Paul

hi,

Where do I go to find the listings of agents that accept only snail mail queries? Any simple sites that list them.

nancy sv
08-24-2007, 12:18 AM
Thanks for that link westcoast!! It sounds great - I'll check it out.

JAG - I know you can search for snail mail at agentquery.com, but I'm not real familiar with all the possibilities. I would post a new thread that asks that question since this one will most likely get buried here in this thread.

peherr@chorus.net
09-04-2007, 11:53 PM
Hi Nancy,

If you want to narrow down your agent search, try Jeff Herman's book Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents. Each agency listed provides a brief bio regarding their history, philosophy, ideal client, and what genres they handle. I found this useful.

Best,

Paul

nancy sv
09-06-2007, 01:28 AM
Thanks Paul! I look for the book at my local library.