Monday, January 21, 2008

Almost Ready

I am getting everything ready to go: synopsis, author’s bio and a quick intro to be used in the query letters. It’s all coming into place before I start contacting agents.

My list of agents stands at twenty. I took the time to find agents who are open to new writers (meaning no previous novels published) and handle the category of fiction this novel fits under. I think it’s common among newer writers to submit to all the wrong places, and I find that to be such a waste of time and money. Taking just a few minutes to read through an agency’s website can reveal quite a bit.

Writers who bombard every agency in America with their novel are no different from someone who shows up to a limo company looking for work as a pig farmer. It is up to us to sift through agents, looking especially for these two phrases: “I am looking for” and “I am not looking for.”

Twenty agents does not seem like very many, and perhaps I’m more stringent in who I select than other writers. But just as an agent examines the materials sent to him or her before deciding to represent an author, so must we examine each agent to decide if that agent should represent us. The difference is that we should be doing this BEFORE we make contact.

I will start sending out queries through emails and the postal service shortly. It will take me some time to get through my list because for me, each query is personal. I take the time to share why I selected the agent and to make sure that he or she gets the exact material requested (in the specified format) for a first contact. To me, this is no different than sending a resume to a company I’m seeking employment with, and I do this with as much professionalism as I can muster.

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