Researching agents

June 22, 2009

 I did it! I’ve send off my first submissions for my novel. Queries went out to agents this morning and to two editors I met at the SCBWI Houston conference. I’ll let you know the results.

As I was finishing up these submissions, I was doing some more final research on the agents and came across a site that I had heard about at my critique group and promptly forgot: QueryTracker.net. The site offers similar research opportunities as AgentQuery.com, which I used to get my master list of agents, except, I believe, QueryTracker.net also tracks response times from agents.

I came across the site through a blog I found called Literary Rambles, which posts some really useful agent spotlights. The blog’s writer, Casey McCormick, has compiled info and links for a bunch of agents, some which aren’t very easy to find online, so thanks, Casey. I’ve put her blog in my blog roll under Blogs By Writers, so check it out.

But in her latest post, Casey talks about the importance of researching agents before you send to them, something I’ve talked about a lot on Day By Day Writer. Casey also provided a post in which QueryTracker.net’s Elana Johnson lays out how to research agents.

It’s really worth it to do this work. Not only do targeted query letters save time for you and the agent, you’ll get fewer automatic rejections. Rejections aren’t nice anytime, so why put yourself in the path of one by sending to an agent who doesn’t handle the kind of books you write? Research, research, research.

Write On!


  1. Congratulations on getting your queries out there, and may you hook up with the perfect agent very soon!

    I subscribe to the Querytracker.net blog, so I read this post this morning. Elana usually has very helpful posts.

  2. I’m glad you found the Spotlights helpful! It looks like you have a great blog – I added you to my Google Reader.

    Kudos for doing your research and spreading the word. Good luck on your search for representation!!!

  3. […] By Day Writer Balancing work, life and the desire to create « Researching agents Preparation is key June 23, 2009 As I was doing more research on agents yesterday, I ran […]

  4. Do you have your query up somewhere?
    Would love to look at it.
    (nope I’m not an agent, just looking for ideas for own)

  5. Iapetus999, I don’t, but I can post it after the process is over, as well as the results. That’s the true test of whether a query letter is good – getting positive responses.

    But you can find plenty of query letters online. Agent Nathan Bransford has some posts on writing query letters listed down the right side of his blog: http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com/

    Same with agent Kristin Nelson, as well as actual query’s from her clients: http://pubrants.blogspot.com/

    And author Jackie Kessler posted her very successful query letter here: http://www.deadlinedames.com/?p=416

    That helped me enormously.

    You can also find my posts on my query writing process here:




    And there are others you can find on a search, but that should give you a good start. Good luck!

  6. I’ve got a couple blog posts that might be helpful too. Here I’ve posted the actual query letter that caught my agent’s eye: http://tinyurl.com/rcbzg4

    And here is my take on the value of targeting agents: http://tinyurl.com/lmtbkv

    Good luck, all.

  7. Great posts, Laura. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Happy to do it. We writers have to stick together. Good luck on your submissions!

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