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Finding an Agent, Guest Post by Patricia Hale



Finding an Agent, Guest Post by Patricia Hale


Finding an agent is tough. I should know. I still haven’t found one. In 2013, my first book, In the Shadow of Revenge, was picked up by a top NY agent. I was thrilled. One year later, she still hadn’t sold it and cut me loose. I was crushed, but determined. Carina Press (Harlequin) published my book without an agent’s representation. Two years later, I submitted a three- book series to Intrigue Publishing who also accepts submissions from writers without agents. They published my Cole & Callahan Thriller series. Now however, because my next project is not a mystery, I’m once again in search of an agent.
Finding an Agent, Guest Post by Patricia Hale
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There are a variety of ways to approach the agent search and what works for one may not work for another. Below are some options I’ve researched and some that I’ve used and will use again.
Publishers Marketplace: Agents have member pages outlining what they’re looking for and how to submit as well as links to their agencies. You can also search publishing deals by genre, category or keyword.
The Conference Pitch: Most conferences now include a pitch session where attendees can meet with one or more agents for 3-5 minutes and “pitch” their novel idea with the hope that the agent will agree to read the manuscript or at least take a peek at the first few chapters. I’ve done the conference pitch a couple of times and both times the agent agreed to look at my work. But for me, it created so much anxiety that I couldn’t concentrate on the conference itself or any of the workshops I attended. I was so nervous about my pitch session. For a less introverted writer, the conference pitch might be just the thing. Some writing organizations are now offering pitch sessions that are not in conjunction with a conference, but a stand-alone event. (I may give it one more shot.)
Agent Query: This is the site I’ve used more than anything else. It’s the internet’s largest free database of literary agents. It’s very easy to use and you’ll find yourself browsing agents for hours. (I do). You can search by agent, agency, book genre or any keyword and get a plethora of possibilities. Each agent provides a brief bio, what kind of manuscripts they’re looking for, how to submit and a link to their agency’s website. This is a great tool and one I will use again when my search begins.
Manuscript Wish List: This site lists agents in alphabetical order and what they are interested in.You can also follow posts by agents and editors about their process, what they want in the way of manuscripts and how to submit. I’m not as familiar with this site, though I definitely plan to spend some time on it. It has a lot of information and contacts.
Pitch Wars: This is an on-line mentoring program that runs from May to February. Published authors and editors act as mentors and guide a writer through the revision and submission process. Writers submit their work and each mentor chooses the writer they want to work with. The mentor reads the manuscript and offers suggestions to ready it for the eventual agent showcase in February. The mentor also assists the writer in creating a query letter, synopsis and blurb. During the agent showcase queries and the first page of each manuscript are posted for participating agents to view. Many writers have found representation by going through this process.
Predators and Editors: This site has been revamped and is well worth looking at. When you do find an editor or agent that you want to submit to, it’s worth checking them out on this site first. Make sure you’re submitting your work to a reputable agent/agency. Before you hand over your blood, sweat and tears do a background check.
I hope this gives you a place (or two) to start your search. I wish I could say have fun, but, well… it’s a long haul with many ups and downs. It’s hard work, but don’t lose faith. My dad always said hard work pays off. He was right most of the time. I’m playing the odds.
Visit me and let me know how your search is going.
Scar Tissue, Book #3 in my Cole & Callahan Thriller Series

Finding an Agent, Guest Post by Patricia Hale
Patricia Hale lives in Standish, ME with her husband. She is a graduate of the MFA program at Goddard College, a member of International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance and the NH Writers Project. Scar Tissue is the third book in the Cole & Callahan thriller series. When the computer is off, you can find Patricia on the sideline of her grandsons’ sporting events or hiking the trails near her home with her German shepherd and one very bossy Beagle.

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2 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for the opportunity to guest post on Writers and Authors and for shining the light on my new release, Scar Tissue. Enjoy!

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