Friday, May 20, 2011

Finding an Agent

I'm on a quest to find an agent for my thriller novel, Don't Play With Fire. For those of you who have done this you know what a daunting task it is. I've made my list of at least a hundred agents and from there I begin reading over their websites, provided they have one, to make sure their agency is a good fit for me.

One of the items I check out is the list of clients. If I don't happen to already know of a specific thriller writer represented by this group I want to make sure my style writing would be what they're looking for. Simple enough, right? Not always.

Many agents represent numerous clients. That's a good sign, however, the very last thing I want to do is click on each and every client's name to read about them. First off, why doesn't every agency list their clients in order by genre?  They make such a stink about authors doing their research before they query. "Don't waste anyone's time, blah, blah, blah." But they're wasting my time by not categorizing their clients.

Faced with an enormous list of names in alphabetical order, I hover my mouse over each one and click. Hoping to find out what kind of books this person is blessed enough to have other people purchase from them. Do I find this information in a neat, concise paragraph? What do you think?

Nope. Well, I'm exagerating. Sometimes I get lucky. Most times instead of telling me what types of books they write the authors go on and on about how they became a writer, or that they wanted to be a writer most of their lives, what kinds of books they read as a child, how many pets they own, the number of children running around under foot, and where they live. Guess what? I don't care! Just tell me what kind of book you write so I can decide whether or not your agency is a fit for me.

Simple, Neat, Concise. In other words, get to the point! And why doesn't the agency say, "Gee, Miss/Mr. Author, that's all very nice and sweet that fluffy sits in your lap while you pound away at your outdated manual type writer, but you're running off at the mouth." Save that stuff for your jacket cover.

Authors do run off at the mouth. I'm doing it now! But I can, because this is my blog. I'll tell you what, when I finally get a chance to write a cute paragraph for my agent's website I will not tell you how many pets I own (none), that I wanted to be a writer since I was seven, or that I had the chance to sit at Ernest Hemingway's typewriter. I'll just say: Supernatural Thriller Novels. Fantasy/Thriller YA/Middle grade novels. Awesome agent! What else is there?

Talk to you later...


  1. Hi Stacey,

    I suppose this is a daunting one. I listen to the talk on our loops re: agents--maybe you should throw out a question there and have people respond re: who they think may be a good fit for you? And in today's opportunity-rife web, you might consider putting your book out there for yourself :)

  2. I hear ya, Stacey. It's daunting indeed. But, hunting through the haystack is a necessary evil worth the prize...oh for the needle

  3. Hmm. You got me thinking about my author bio on my agents page. I guess I'm guilty of not clearly stating my genre. Duh. That seems like a pretty important thing to include.

    In addition to what was said above, you might also want to look at the acknowledgements page of your favorite authors, and the books in your genre. Many times they thank their agents and editors.

    Good luck finding an agent.