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I’ve been as invisible as a ghost over the last month because I entered the maze of querying agents for my manuscript, Hello Hell. Let me tell you, it can be a scary place if you don’t know what you’re doing or follow the process as outlined by every, single, agent. So, here’s a few tips, I’ve learned aloong the way. Feel free to share your own.
Identify those agents open for submissions and who are requesting manuscripts in your genre.
Publications don’t always tell the whole story related to a specific agent, so do your reasearch.
Make a list. Note siginifcant specifics about each agent.
Read the agents profile, website, Twitter account and any other site they provide to get a good feel for whether he/she might be a good fit. For example, a profile may list they are interested in womne’s fiction but when you did deeper, there is a very specific type of women’s fiction they are interested in. Unless your manuscipt fits within that narrow scope, mark them off your list.
Read through the agency, research all the agents listed, the books they have published, and their submission guidelines.
Perfect your query again and again. Don’t write one and think it will serve all. Some agents are very particular regarding what they want to see in a querying and the layout. So, be prepared to have numerous versions as you gothrough the process.
Keep track of each query sent to each agent. This is important because you can’t querying more than one agent within an agency. So, pay attention to your list. I use Query Tracker which provides valuable insight into an agent: response times, genre reports, percentage of responses, and the number of negative and positive responses.
Setup reminders to followup (nudge an agent) or to mark a query as closed. Some agents specify that after x number of weeks, “assume we have reviewed your work and are going to pass on it.”
Understand querying is a process. It’s takes time, patience, and a thick skin. Whether an agent likes your work or not is often subjective. So keep things in perspective and don’t take a rejection personally.
Hope these tips help and if you have a tip, please share with us in the comment section. Good luck.