Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Notes from an Agent Hunter

It astounds me that in this, the twenty-first century, there are still those hold-out folks who don't have a website. For this post, you can assume that I'm referring particularly to the elusive, contact-by-snail-mail-only literary agencies. I can't quite understand the lack of an online presence. Even if an agency is not accepting online queries (a whole other topic...), doesn't it seem like a savvy business decision to have website to introduce yourself, to specify submission requirements, to spotlight author clients, to provide contact information?? Certainly there are other ways for a curious person to obtain all this information, but they're not nearly as efficient, nor as likely to be as up-to-the-minute accurate as an agency's own website.

And I've got to admit, I like to see a photo of the agent I'm querying. Some agency websites keep things very mysterious and never show anyone's face, and I don't really get this either. I think it's easier to make a connection if you've seen a picture, but maybe that's just me. This may be crazy, but I view agent compatibility in kind of the same way that I view book compatibility. If a book cover 'talks' to me and the book's gotten good reviews, or I've heard about it, then I go for it. Similarly, if the agent looks to be someone with whom I could get along or with whom I might have a good rapport, and I'm familar with her clients or have heard good things, (and of course, if she's looking to represent the type of book I'm trying to sell), I figure why not go for it. But without that photo, I'm going in blind. I've even been known to use Google Images to try to pinpoint what an agent might look like. Some of them keep a veerrry low profile, and that, my friends, is extraordinarily frustrating.

And so goes my agent hunt...

7 comments:

Packsaddle said...

Good luck on your hunt, Alyssa!

Barrie said...

I wonder if a lack of online presence (which means it's more difficult to know how to query) means the agent isn't interested in taking on new clients??

Good luck!

Kelley said...

Good luck in your hunt.

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Thanks to everyone for the good wishes!

And you could be on to something, Barrie, but I know of at least a few that are taking on new clients and do not have a web presence. Go figure.

Travis Erwin said...

I feel your pain. I think some agents aren't really interested in drawing lots of queries since their stable is fairly full and I've heard others say they like to make writers dig a bit harder to learn about them because e then the know the people who do that are more serious and not just looking for the easy way.

Travis Erwin said...

And good luck. I'm right there with you in the query process.

Pam said...

OMG--I can only say Amen! (I'm going through the same thing right now and it can be sooo frustrating!)