Haystack, Meet Needle
Written by
Laura Brennan
July 2015
Written by
Laura Brennan
July 2015

Dang there are a lot of agents out there.

And every time I turn on my computer, I find there's more to learn. Each agency has its own vibe and within each house, the different agents all specialize in different genres. And each house has its own submission guidelines and preferences and tastes.  Oh, and blogs! They all have blogs!

Why did it have to be blogs...

Am I the only writer consumed by the thrill of finding the perfect needle in a veritable haystack full of needles?

I'm not really complaining too much, because this is the fun part, the part where each new agent on my list might be the perfect one for me. Plus I won't get the final round of notes on my manuscript for another three weeks and I'm too fried still to work on something new. Researching agents seems like a necessary step and makes me feel like I'm working when of course what I'm actually doing is reading blogs.

So far, I've found agents to target by:

- reading blogs written by agents (not only do I get to know that agent a bit, but they also tend to talk about and recommend other agents)

- meeting them in person at conferences

- reading the Rights Report over at Publisher's Weekly

- meandering around Publisher's Marketplace

- serendipity -- I'll be talking to someone or reading something online and an agent's name will suddenly come up

Things I know I should try but haven't yet:

- checking my favorite authors to see who their agent is (a friend mentioned that he always checks the acknowledgments in books he likes to see if they thank their agent)

- Twitter.  I understand lots of agents hang out there, and there's even a hashtag for wish list projects they'd love to see queries for.

I'm sure there are dozens of ways I haven't thought of to find potential agents -- and I still have three weeks during which I can justify swimming through haystacks.  ;)

What am I missing? What's worked for you?

Let's be friends

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