How to Find an Agent Back to Blog

Today I want to talk about the great agent quest.  A few years ago, I decided I wanted to find a literary agent to represent me. Until then, I’d been writing for small presses (ImaJinn Books and Red Sage), but I wanted to try to sell my work to NY, and I wanted an agent to help me.

So, I started doing some research.  I belong to the Romance Writers of America, and they have a great listing of agents on their site.  I looked on their site to get a listing of romance agents.  (RWA also has a file on agents who have received complaints; if you have an agent who has offered you representation and you want to see if anything is on file against him/her, you can send RWA an email to check.)

My next step?  I visited www.agentquery.com. Agent Query is awesome because it allows you to do a search (select the Full Search option) to break down acquiring agents by genres.  It also allows you to find agents who accept email queries and (most importantly!) it shows you the agents who are actively seeking new clients (because not all agents are).

I took my results from Agent Query and then visited the Preditors and Editors site.  I searched the agent names on Preditors and Editors to see what folks were saying about the agents (and to make sure there weren’t any big red flags).

When I had my list ready, I started querying. And, lucky for me, I wound up getting representation from Laura Bradford of the Bradford Literary Agency.

Before signing with an agent, I think it is important to:

1. Review your agency contract! Everyone should do this. I’ve heard some horror stories out there (particularly from one of my local chapter mates), and it really does pay to be safe.   If there are clauses that you find confusing or ambiguous, ask about them! Get clarification.  Don’t sign anything unless you are 100% comfortable.

2. Talk with the agent before you agree to representation. Laura and I had a great talk before I signed with her. She wanted to know what my plans were. We discussed my writing goals, we talked about meeting those goals. I felt like Laura really had my best interests at heart and I knew she would be the  right agent fit for me.

3. Talk with some of the agents other clients.  Do you want to know what this agent’s style is before you sign? Do you want to know if she’ll follow-up promptly with emails and phone calls?  Then ask someone who knows.

An agent is an author’s advocate. She can be an amazing asset to your career–so make sure you get the right agent so that you can have the writing career you want.

If you’ve got any agent hunting questions for me, ask away!

And, on a completely unrelated topic…I have my first review for IMMORTAL DANGER.  Amberkatze was kind enough to post a review on her blog.  Thanks, Amber!

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5 responses to “How to Find an Agent”

  1. Edie says:

    No questions. All good advice. I’d say go to Agent Query before RWA. Many agents who do very well selling romance don’t bother applying for RWA approved status. (Or whatever needs to be done to get on the list.)

  2. Brandy says:

    Um, Cynthia, the link you’ve posted has been disabled by MySpace. I wanted to read that review! *G*

  3. Karin says:

    That is some great advice, Cynthia.

  4. LaDonna says:

    Great advice, Cindy! I’ll be querying again at some point. I hope I find someone that’s a perfect fit for me too! :smile:

  5. Cynthia Eden says:

    Hi, Edie! Good point! The RWA list is by no means all-inclusive. I think it’s good to check multiple sources so that you can find as many possible fit agents as possible. Folks just need to make certain they do their homework and check to be sure the agents are legit.

    Whoops, Brandy! I’ve fixed the link. Sorry!!

    Thanks, Karin!

    For when your query time comes, LaDonna, I wish you good luck!