Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's Writers Wednesday: The Question is -- How do I find an agent?
Finding an agent is a very individual pursuit. First of all, do you need one? Not every publisher requires submissions through an agent, though there's no denying that agented material will usually receive more immediate attention from an editor. Ideally, your agent as a working relationship with various editors and therefore knows which people would be most receptive to your particular story. Finding an agent can take just as long as finding a publisher so the question is where to do you want to invest your time?

Most agents have a particular focus with regard to the material they are willing to represent -- children's book agents will be looking for specific types of stores -- YA, Middle Grade, Picture Book, etc. And withing those story types, they may have individual interests or things they don't care for such as sci-fi, fairytales and so on.

It's important to find out as much as you can about the agent you are planning to query. Most agency websites include bios for the individual agents that will provide this type of information. For resources on this topic see my 9/02/09 post: How Do I Get Published? I discussed researching editors and agents.

One of the great opportunities offered by SCBWI conferences is the chance to hear agents first hand and perhaps even meet them and pitch your work.

It's important to become as informed as possible. Here is a post by an agent that I recommend reading:Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent: What I'm Looking For.

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