How to Start Querying, Part Three: Get Ready

Hey guys! Today in the How to Start Querying series, I'm going to talk about how and where to find agents or publishers for your book! While I do recommend submitting to agents over publishers because having a literary agent is better than trying to traditional publish by yourself, it's never a bad thing to have a list of good publishers on hand.

1. Find agents or publishers:
          A. Google. Google is a fantastic way to find literary agents or publishers. Usually I search by my genre, such as "YA literary agents" or "new YA literary agents." Finding a fairly new agent is great because that means he or she is actively building her client list.
          B. AgentQuery. Agentquery is a website filled with literary agencies, publishing houses, and all of their information! Just key in your search terms, and you'll have a whole list of potential agents to query.
          C. Writer's digest. I love this site. Not only is it filled with some pretty fantastic articles about writing, but it's also a great place to find literary agents. Usually when I search for new agents on google, the first result to come up is writer's digest. They put up a list of new agents every so often, and it's incredibly helpful!

2. Do your research. As upsetting and frustrating as it is, not every agent and publishing house can be trusted, and not all of them are successful. When looking at a potential agency or publisher, take a look at their book lists. Do you recognize any of the titles? Does this company publish in the format you want? When I'm interested in learning more about an agency or publishing house, I turn to these two sites:
          A. Preditors and editors. This site has a large list of topics, but I always search under either Agents & Attorneys or Book Publishers (you can choose under the P&E pages on the left-hand side) Then you can find your agency or publisher under the alphabetical list!
          B. Absolute Write. While I'm not the biggest fan of this website, I do enjoy using it for finding reviews on book publishers. There's so many users on this site that I can almost always find a forum of comments about a particular publisher, and it's very helpful to get insight from people who have submitted to/ or worked with these agencies or publishers personally.

3. Bookmark your favorites. Remember those bookmark folders I talked about in part two? Well, now's your chance to use them! When you come across an agent you like, save that page to the proper folder. I usually like to bookmark either the personal info page about the specific agent I want to query, or the submission guidelines page of the agency itself. Either way, it's great to have a list of agents or publishers ready to go whenever you need them!

And there you have it! Now you know how to find agents and publishers, research them, and save their information for later. Check back on Thursday for part four, where I'll talk about the specifics of writing a real query for an agent, as well as dealing with any nerves about sending it out!

"Therefore, you must also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." Matthew 24:44