Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Heat #5: Cross-Query Skiing

Today's Heat is open to everyone. This is not a judged Heat.

Your task is simple. Using Query Tracker, Agent Query, Writer's Market, or any other reference tool you like, identify one editor or agent who takes the kind of work you write. This must be an editor or agent you haven't previously researched. You're looking for new terrain to explore.

Once you've identified this new-to-you agent or editor, find their website. (If your reference site doesn't have a link, use google.) Read their submissions guidelines. All the way through. No skipping of paragraphs allowed. If you choose, you may also take a moment to browse books they've repped or published to learn more about their preferences.

How easy was that? Leave a comment about today's Heat, and we'll enter you into the drawing to win a prize at the closing ceremony.


Kathleen MacIver said...

Well... I found a few more agents to add to my list to query once I finish this story!

One thing that struck me (again) is how most blogging agents say that "in this day and age, all agents assume you're querying several at once." And yet, one of the agents I looked up said, "Always tell us if you're querying multiple agents at once."

It makes me wonder if it's even worth querying them, if you don't want to send a query and then wait five weeks to see if you don't get a response. In other words, do they not give it the same attention if you're querying elsewhere at the same time?

I suppose I'll probably never know...

PatriciaW said...

I found one, Jennifer Jackson of Donald Maass Literary Agency. An agent who reps Christian and multicultural, romance and women's fiction.

Jordan said...

Patricia—did you see her blog? She reports (almost) weekly on what she ends up requesting. Very interesting:

I picked one, but I can't remember if I've researched her before. I'm currently working in a niche market where the margins are just too low for agents to, you know, eat, so I haven't looked at agents in years, really. Her submission guidelines were <200 words, though :D .

feywriter said...

Perfect timing on this, as we finally have a printer and I can start looking at agents that only accept snail mail queries.

I researched a few new ones. Added one to my maybe list, discarded two for wrong subgenre, and added two to my query list.

Dave Shaw said...

Okay, looked at a couple agents, finally joined Query Tracker, reorganized my agent bookmarks (I'm a bookmark pack rat), and did generally useful things for half an hour. And it's all YOUR FAULT!



Jami Gold said...

I'm right there with you, Dave. Darn being productive... :)

I found a couple of agencies that might have more than one agent that could be a good fit. After I do another hour of research, I'll give up and flip a coin to see which one to go with. LOL!

Jami G.

Sylvia said...

I use Sonar to track articles and short stories - but Query Tracker has my eye now because of the shared statistics.

I'm sort of scared/worried about querying the project I'm working on now and so it was nice to see a lot of agents interested in narrative non-fiction. On the other hand, the non-fiction proposals seem to assume how-to books and the like, where they want to see that you are a "leading expert in your field".

So in the end, I searched for the agent who repped Eat Love Pray to see how she describes what she's looking for. I think it's useful, she cites "Memoirs, Travel, Adventure/True Story" as the Nonfiction genres she is interested in which makes sense - and I can look for agents with a similar list to try to get a good match.

AND she says she's interested in more narrative non-fiction so she might even be worth querying!

Edittorrent said...

Look at all this success! Do you know, if you did this once or twice a month while writing your book, you'd have a short list of people all ready to query when your book is done? Might even help you stay motivated while writing. :)


Stacy McKitrick said...

I never thought about using Google to research agents. I have checked several other agent tracker sites, though. This was very informative and will definitely be a help.

You're right - do this once or twice a month and it won't feel so time consuming. Of course, I'll probably have to make it more than that, since I'm getting close, now.

Now back to editing!

Riley Murphy said...

Okay, that was a three hour tour! Thanks Theresa!
Murphy :D

c.e.lawson said...

This was fun. I had not yet joined query tracker because my editing will probably take months, but this heat prompted me to do so. It seems like a very useful site. What a great idea to do this sort of research a little bit at a time during writing/revising -- it does keep the finish line in sight. Thanks!

Kelly R. Morgan said...

I found a new-to-me agent but I'm not entirely sure she would go on my short list. The guidelines say the agency reps fantasy but no client writes it; most titles sold are non-fiction.

Anonymous said...

I'm still in the editing process (with beta reader right now), so hadn't started to search out agents yet. I found it interesting, as you really have to dig through their website to discover whether an agent accepts Urban Fantasy.

JustWriteCat said...

Sweet! I found two other agents to query once my revision work is done. I don't follow the guidelines on any site other than the one belonging to the agent or agency. Too often other sites have outdated info, but typically agencies keep their site fresh.

And found one other agent blog to follow in the process.


Leona said...

What is a beta reader? I've heard it on quite a few blogs and from writers. I feel so out of it technology wise, that I'm still sometimes surprised that I use a computer! LOL

Sylvia said...

It's a funny term Leona - it means someone who is reading your manuscript before it's completely finished. Like computer programs have beta testers before full release.

I guess it differs from proof readers in that they are reading to check the story logic rather than grammar and spelling.