4 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN RESEARCHING LITERARY AGENTS
There are hundreds of reasons an agent will pass on your pitch—doesn’t connect with your story, not currently looking for clients, reps thrillers and you submitted a romance, is a Red Sox fan and refuses to rep a Yankees fan, etc. Your goal is to find agents most suited toward your writing to minimize the reasons they will pass.
When I was ready to pitch OH BOY, YOU’RE HAVING A GIRL to agents, I didn’t have time to waste. A publisher had approached me about taking the writing style of my blog and turning it into a book. Within weeks I had an offer (which was amazing!), but still, I needed help understanding and negotiating my rights.
I spent hours researching agents using Writer’s Market and the Guide to Literary Agents and doing follow-up legwork on the Internet. I didn’t have much time to waste, so I asked myself the questions below in order to narrow my search to find an agentwhom I thought would be the best fit for me. You should ask these questions in your search too.
1. Is the agent accepting new clients?
Some agents are always accepting new clients. Others rarely take them on. Sometimes agents have windows—say, the month of September—where they are accepting submissions. It’s important to consider this when angling for a particular agent. If the agent you want rarely takes on new clients, you must keep a close eye on when his or her window opens. When pitching OH BOY, I needed a fairly quick response (and being able to include “I have a contract offer” in the letter certainly helped the query get looked at more quickly than usual), so I could only pitch to agents who were currently looking for new clients. Didn’t want to waste my time and efforts on agents who wouldn’t be accepting queries until later in the year.