The first month of PitchWars has come and gone and I’ve never felt better about my book (NO MAN’s LAND- check it out!) With a month left, I’m finishing up some line edits and working on my pitch to try and get all the intrigue and excitement into approximately 50 words.
So I’m almost ready for the agent round, right?
Eh… no. Why not? Well, because I’ve never queried before. So I don’t have a go-to list of agents compiled yet, and I should really get that together. After all, I don’t know what will happen during the agent showcase. I could be a member of the “0 request club” in which case I want to start querying before I lose my nerve. Or I could get a few requests, but from agents that aren’t a great fit, or who don’t offer representation after reading the full manuscript. Or I could get a million requests. Wouldn’t that be nice? 🙂 Regardless, I need to be ready.
Where to begin?
I’ve already checked the big steps of my list:
Step 1: Write and revise a book. Check!
Step 2: Write a query letter. Check! (A great resource: queryshark.com)
Now it’s time for:
Step 3: Figure out who to query.
It’s even more challenging than it sounds. After all, there are bajillions of agents (hyperbole alert!) and they all have different styles, skills, preferences, and specialties. Some agents are very hands-on and like to help their writers rewrite and revise their books. Others prefer their writers to work more independently, with less editorial input. Some agents are the kind you call when you’re having an artistic meltdown, and others are more “chin up, kid, this is business.” Then, of course, they’re all looking for different things, and it’s a waste of everyone’s time to send a query to an agent who has made it clear on their website and/or wishlist that your book is not going to be right for them.
Oh, and some agents are currently closed to unsolicited queries, others are only accepting certain genres at the moment, and so on.
On top of all THAT, many times I’ve found multiple agents at one agency who could be a great fit, but the agency policy is that writers may only query one agent.
Where does that leave me?
With a list of top YA sellers from publishersmarketplace.com, a million bookmarked agency website, light twitter stalking, querytracker.net, manuscriptwishlist.com, plus reading through the acknowledgements section of all my favorite books and a seminar tomorrow about choosing agents.
My plan is to have a list ready sometime in the next week, then I’ll make a spreadsheet with their contact information and submission guidelines. As soon as the PitchWars Agent showcase ends, I’ll be ready to hit send.
Unless, of course, the perfect agent finds me during PitchWars.
Hey, a girl can dream. 🙂