How to Find a Literary Agent 101: Sending the Query

hitchhiker

If you are looking for an agent, it means you have finished a manuscript that you are ready to release to the world! While you might feel a bit like a lost hitchhiker in beginning the process of being picked up by an agent, know that getting a manuscript completed and ready for an agent is a huge accomplishment. Congratulations!!!  And now that you’re ready to start sending out query letters, you will need someone to actually send them to for possible representation.

Step One: Make a list. There are a few sources for finding your agent. In the past, besides going to writer’s conferences to meet agents, I used The Christian Writer’s Market Guide and Michael Hyatt’s list of recommended agents. To get a link to the free list, click here. It requires an email for the download though, but this list is gold!

Step Two: Narrow the list. Now that you have a bunch of potential names, make sure that they are legit. If there are any that you haven’t heard of before, do a google search of them and be sure to read other writers’ reviews on them.

Step Three: Research your selected. Hopefully you’ve gotten your list down a bit to make this easier.

A) When you research your selected group of agents, you want to make sure that your genre is compatible with what they are open to representing. I’ve read countless agents’ blogs on how tiresome it is when a potential author does a shotgun approach to queries and sends them sci-fi when they are requesting non-fiction. Look at this as a job application. You want to be sure that you are right for the job and not waste their time as well as your own by sending out queries that don’t make sense.

B) Who do they represent? Only submit your queries to agents that you would instantly say “YES!!!!” if they call and offer their representation. Do your homework before by finding out who they represent and if they have any bestselling authors under their wings.

Step Four: Schedule your queries out. Yay! Now that you have your selected agents, make a game plan to send out your queries 2-3 at a time every 6-8 weeks.

The reason why you don’t want to send 25 queries in one day is for potential feedback from rejections. I had to learn early on to get a thick skin when it came to rejections. It’s just part of it, but when you get that first glorious maybe and then that final yes for representation, it is worth it! For a post on how to make those rejection letters work for you, click here!

Also, you don’t want to send out 1 query at a time because sometimes it takes up to 90 days to hear back from agents and even then, the silence is their answer. If you sent out 1 at a time, it could take years to get a request for a proposal.

For a post on how to write a query, click here! Be sure to look out for my blog post on Monday for How to Find a Literary Agent 102: The Proposal! 

Now, take a deep breath, have courage and press send!!!

Happy Writing!

Photo Cred: Unsplash.com

About Grace Hitchcock

Grace Hitchcock’s first novella, The Widow of St. Charles Avenue, will be releasing in Barbour Publishing’s The Second Chance Brides Collection in August 2017. She has a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace is a Louisiana Southerner living in Colorado with her husband, Dakota.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *