In the first post I shared how I compiled my list of agents I wanted to query for Starstruck. And boy, that was a lot of work. It took me months. Often, I would research and add new agents to my list in between revisions. My list kept growing, and growing, and growing… And I’m sure it could still be much longer than it is now, but I reached a point where I thought: this is it. I’m ready for the next step. (And yikes, as I query, I still change my list sometimes...)
But the next step was to narrow down the list that now contained hundreds of agents. To do a quick recap, I listed these things in Excel:
- Agent (name)
- Represents (their clients)
- Open to queries
- Represents (clients represented by other agents within that agency)
- Submission guidelines
- Other (reasons why you want to work with the agent)
This is the part where having an extensive overview comes in handy and allows you to work (a little…) faster because you don’t have to look everything up again. Simply filter your Excel list (I suggest A-Z on agency column) and start with the first agency. Go to their website. Make sure that you have added all agents that represent your genre to your list. Make sure you know what you write. Not just the genre of your current novel, but also what you would like to write in the future. Whilst Starstruck is a contemporary/fantasy crossover, my current WIPs are fantasy and dystopian… It’s worth checking if an agent represents those, too. Because if you do find an agent, and he/she would like to represent you with your next projects too, well... wouldn't it be easy if he/she represented those genres? :-)
Next, I went over every single agent again, starting with the first agency. Every. Single. One. Did I still like them? If multiple agents at one agency: which one did I like best? Read their bio. Look at their Twitter. Find interviews. Try to look for something that gives you an impression of what they might be like in real life—who they are as an agent. Would you prefer an editorial agent? Someone with a wacky sense of humour? Try to find it. It’s not always easy and more than once I felt like a creep for all the stalking I did… hehe. But in the end, I managed to rank agents (1, 2, 3 etc...) per agency.
And suddenly… I had a selection.