The Agent Search

Today I spent a couple of hours on agentquery.com searching for potential agents for the next book, Charley’s Dragons. The hardest thing for me with this book is deciding the genre. It falls under New Adult fiction–that awkward balance between adults and teens–and has elements of fantasy although it is not a fantasy genre story. Finding the genre is obviously important in order to match with an agent. I eventually decided that CD is commercial fiction with fantasy elements and some women’s fiction issues. While I hate the term Commercial Fiction, it does fit what my story is the best. CD is written with heavy topics but in accessible language. I do not like to hide meaning with complex words and syntax. I want the reader to be able to engage with the story without worrying about what is going on.

So after clicking around, I read the profiles of about 115 agents to see if any of them would be the right fit. I like agentquery since agents are able to put down specifics of what they want and what their agency wants. Many of the agents had specific genres they wanted and sometimes they did not fit with my work. I also had to read carefully to double check that they were accepting queries and that they were not suddenly excluding certain genres.

Out of the agents I researched I chose 72. Out of those there are 2 or 3 I think would really like CD. Some of the agents I chose did not have any specifics of what they want/don’t want so I will need to look into them more. Others I took a risk with. Some of them do not want to represent fantasy, but everything else they wrote about fit with CD. I think I will end up querying them in hopes that they see that the fantasy in CD is based on a child’s hallucinations and not on a “real” fantasy world.

Every agent on my list I will need to re-visit on their agent pages and agency pages. I need to be sure that they are still accepting queries and to double check that they are still at the same agency! Sometimes people leave for whatever reason. I need to be sure I’m querying someone who will be available to read my MS. It is also necessary to see what each agent likes. I want to personalize my queries so that the agent knows I did my research. If they respect me taking the time to research them, then they should take the time to read my query.

My query letter is coming along. I’m not sure I’m going to send it out just yet. I want to be sure I am saying what I need to say but still keeping it to a page. Describing a whole book in 300 words is tricky. I will continue to adjust the query letter and maybe trim down the agent list. I am expecting to query at least 50 of these people. I’m preparing myself for a lot of rejection, but I know that’s part of the agent game. I am sure I will find an agent eventually. I am looking for constructive criticism from agents to improve what I have. I know CD is a good story, I just need to find the right representative.

Has anyone had any luck or difficulties with agents? I would love to hear about it! I know I self-published since I was frustrated the first time with The Healing Pool. Any comments/advice/etc. welcome here.

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