Sunday, June 30, 2013

Agent Searching

by Steven Vincent

First off, I would like to thank Mary Fan for letting me on her blog today! I would also like to note that this article is not about making a query letter, not about making a synopsis, and not even about landing a deal.

My point in writing this is not so much the quest for representation, as it is getting ready for the quest.

1.) Ready the Book

Don't assume all the kinks will be worked out by professionals; that's you! It's your job to make the book as good as it can get. An editor can correct the mistakes, but if you present a clean manuscript to an agent, you will stand out that much more.

2.) Plan the Pitch

I fully recommend rereading the book from cover to cover to try and figure out what the heart and soul of the story is. How would you best describe the central plot? After you figure that out, find a way to keep the description telling, but vague enough to build some healthy anticipation.

This will become the core of your query letter, and probably your synopsis, too.

3.) Get Resources

The biggest pain of contacting agents is finding them. Before you start contacting, try to get a good idea of sites or books that list updated information on agents, especially new ones looking to build their client list. Agent Query and Writers Digest are both helpful sites for this.

4.) Keep a List

Short but sweet; KEEP a list of agents you contact, their email address, agency name, and any other information you might need. Getting confused about who you've written is not fun, and neither is digging through your sent mail.

5.) Stay Motivated

The fifth and final tip, and also the most important one. Sending letters can be a very tiring task, believe it or not, especially when the fate of your book seems to hinge on your every word. Try to keep a schedule of when you'll contact agents - usually ten at a time.


One word can be all it takes to paint the wrong image in an agent's mind. This may sound bad, but the good news is it works the opposite way, too! It also means that rejection doesn't mean your book is trash.

Keep at what you do, and eventually you will find your place.

- Steven