Friday, April 1, 2011

Research the agent.

I think mother nature is playing a cruel April Fools joke on us today. It's snowing. Funny, mother nature, jokes over, right? I'm also not feeling my best. It seems whatever my kids had this week has now hit me. So I will keep this short.

I hit 15 K yesterday and I'm thrilled. I really hope to finish the first draft by May. This story is just rolling along. I will have some things to change around and revisions, okay, a lot of revisions, but that's the whole process. I'm finally at the point that I'm comfortable with the way I write. Out of order. To this point, I've been writing it in order, but today I must write the end. It keeps bugging me and I know it might change, but it may help the middle.

I've been thinking about the whole query process, and yeah, it scares me. Part of me is excited, the other half, shaking like crazy. I may be premature in thinking about it, but it will come one day. As with anything, I will have to do research to see what agent is good for me, and everything that goes along with it. Of course, I have to be 100% that my manuscript is to the best of my ability, along with the query letter. Yikes. But research takes time, so in the down time, or when I'm stuck, I start to look at this stuff.

Of course, you have to research what each agent is looking for--don't just send your baby to anyone. Make sure they are interested in your genre. Also, submissions guidelines. Make sure you follow these or you're not going to get an answer. Don't forget, never give any money up front. Agents are working for you, so if someone asks for it, let's just say, decline. Would you pay someone to take away your child or pet? Don't answer that unless it's the same answer as me. No. I wouldn't get rid of them, but I hope you see my point. That may be a weird analogy.

Anyway, I think we get so caught up in the writing process we tend to forget that we should know the business too. This will help you understand what goes on, and not leave you in the dark. Plus, don't you want to know what happens to your baby. It is like another child (At least to me. Okay, don't look at me like that). It should be in the best care as possible.

I've been guided to some sites. QueryTracker.net, Association of Author's Representatives, Absolute Write, and AgentQuery.

Do you have any others to add?

Any advice when I start my research?

I know my comments have been limited, and, well, they still will be limited. Sorry. I'm writing, folks. I also need to do a big awards post. Thanks to all of you who have given me an award. You're so sweet.

Have a great weekend!

11 comments:

  1. If you write for children (YA, MG, PB), I recommend you add Casey McCormick's blog Literary Rambles. She has tons of agent information that's well researched and organized and regularly updated.

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  2. I'd recommend Fictionfactor.com, just for general writing tips, and definitely check out the Writers Digest Guide to Lit Agent blog. Brilliant site.

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  3. And Mother, Write, Repeat has agent interviews which are helpful. I try and research and form my list while i"m writing so It doesn't seem so overwhelming when it's time.

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  4. Use querytracker, because it will link to all those other sites (including Mother, Write, Repeat) Though they don't link to the weekly Agent Spotlights on Literary Rambles (which i also check out)
    Also, i always checked the agency on Preditor's and Editors and if they had a good rating, i didn't bother checking the specific agent.
    Finally - it will take A LOT LONGER than you can ever guess. No one told me this...

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  5. Those are some great links you've posted. Research really is important to know who to query and how to make your query specific for them! It's always great to have a reminder. Thanks :)

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  6. Literary Rambles is a must for YA writers.

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  7. I'm seconding Donna. You can also check my site under 4Writers. I have lots of sites listed there, plus I have a blog list specifically for agents/editors/publishers. Proud of you for working so hard!

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  8. There is always so much research to be done, but sometimes that is half the fun.

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  9. Those are good sites. I'm sure there are more. When I was querying I was always finding something else.

    Have a great weekend.

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  10. You should never feel guilty for not blogging/commenting because you're WRITING. We get it! You're doing what you're supposed to be doing!

    Querying can be really scary, but once you dive in, it starts to get kind of fun!

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  11. You've already listed my favorites. I also put my query up on Evil Editor's blog and was checking the Query Shark (Janet Reid)site frequently for query how-to.

    You are going about querying WAY more prepared than I did - kudos.

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