Excel was my tool for this. I opened a new sheet, and named column A ‘Agent’. And then… I started.
Long story short: it’s likely that you’re writing the same genre as your favourite books/authors. Makes sense, right? Yeah, that’s what I thought. So the first thing I did was grab my favourite books off the shelves and read the acknowledgements again—or I visited the author’s website (if I felt really lazy, I simply used Google…)
Speaking of Google, it truly is your best friend. After adding agent’s names via the above method, I Googled things as “Best YA agents” or “Popular children’s books agencies”. And there, plenty of more names to add to your list.
And boy, that list grows rapidly. So many agencies. Several agents at one agency who represent your genre… I kept track of this by having several columns in Excel:
- Agent (name)
- Represents (their clients)
- Open to queries
- Represents (clients represented by other agents within that agency)
- Submission guidelines
Whew. That is a heck of a lot of information—but it’s worth it, because you create a very clear overview. Trust me, after a few agents, everything starts to mix together. You’ll want an overview that easily shows you the important things (and, obviously, I felt like the above points were most important). Although I think they explain themselves, point 10 is worth an explanation: this is where I added information to personalise the query letter—more on that later.
Tell me: did you use a similar list? Do you think I missed important points in my overview? What is/was your method of finding agents?