The Weary Query-er
I’ve spent a lot of the past couple weeks researching. And it wasn’t for a book…at least not in the fun sense. No, I’ve been researching agents. I’m an obsessive researcher. You can ask the ever (okay, mostly) patient and long suffering husband. I have to research everything. I’m compelled. Let me tell you, buying baby paraphernalia was a nightmare experience for him.
Well, shopping for just the right agents to query has been a nightmare for me — an enlightening nightmare – but nightmarish all same. It’s a complicated process. You don’t want to waste time – neither yours nor theirs – by querying an agent who is not interested in what you write. Not only that but I’m a long thinker. So, I also want an agent that will be able to meet all my future goals. I love romance but I’m also a hard core history buff. And I can’t completely eliminate that upmarket fiction (yes, it’s a term I learned in my research) idea I may one day attempt.
With this in mind I not only paid close attention to what they were looking for but also to what they were not looking for. Admittedly, there was a couple that I’ve kept a close eye from the beginning. I immediately queried them. The rest of the names I accumulated went into phase two.
Ah…yes, you are starting to empathize with my husband now, aren’t you? So, phase two involves stalking. You heard me right. I’m stalking them. I google their names. I follow them on twitter. I look for every appearance they made on blogs. I cross reference and pretty damn near make a good old fashioned character worksheet on them. I look at who they represent and then I stalk them too.
Now, don’t look so concerned. It’s all in the name of publishing. My purpose is to find the right fit. Both in personality and professional-ity. Despite how one sneeze distance from a restraining order it sounds it has yielded some incredible information.
Several agents run their own blogs. The information I comb out of those is useful, especially when said agents post real queries with comments on what works and what doesn’t. And many of them do this. There is also the Writer’s Digest Magazine. The most recent edition has a hot list of agents looking for new clients. And you can buy and download a single digital copy for those who crave instant gratification. *cough – me – cough* There are also several general websites that offers valuable information. The Passionate Pen has a page with a list of agents representing romance. And I found an editor’s blog that highlights agents, with a New Agent Alert special feature. New agents are usually very interested in building a client list.
So, the information is out there. You just got to go get it, weed through it and, yes, even stalk it. Have at it. As for this weary query-er, I’ve got a few blogs to stalk before I call it a night.