Last week’s post about middle grade books agents represent was astronomically more popular than I anticipated. I’m so glad many of you found it helpful, and in light of that, I’m adding a permanent page to my blog listing agents with middle grade and young adult books they represent. I’ll give a few more details about that at the end–including a call for any similar lists you might have–but the post also brought up a question. How do you find out what books an agent has represented? So today I’m going to share how I researched them. These tips will apply no matter what category or genre you’re writing.
I’ll preface this by saying that I was researching this information for my agent spreadsheet, so I already had a list of agents. My purpose was to find books they’d represented so I could read them. I highly recommend doing this if you can as it gives you a feel for the agent’s tastes.
Oh, how I wish you could just go to an agency website and see a breakdown of agents with books they’ve represented, separated out by category and genre. The more common practice is to give a list of agency clients, sometimes with links, sometimes not. Or the agency might show a bunch of book covers. Often the client list/book cover display doesn’t specify which agent represents that client, which I can sort of understand. Sometimes multiple agents work on a client, or maybe the agency is protecting itself in case an agent leaves. But even if the agency does list the agent who goes with the client, if there are no books listed, you still have to research those clients to find out what kind of books they write. And then you have to verify that the agent represented a particular book. Don’t assume that just because an agent represents a client, he/she represented all of that client’s books. Authors change agents, and it’s very possible earlier books were represented by a different agent.
Agent blogs are a much better bet. Often they will post a list of their deals or covers of their clients’ books, making it much easier to tell the category and genre than just a client list or even a list of titles.
Not all agents have PM pages, but if the one you’re researching does, it can be gold. From what I can tell, agents still personalize these themselves, so there’s no guarantee of what information will be included in the sales/client lists, but it’s more likely to include the category than an agency website. If it doesn’t, it often lists the publisher, and you may be able to deduce the reader age that way. As a side note, I don’t have a PM subscription, so I don’t have access to the deal listings. I believe you can get even more information if you do. You also can track deal announcements, although that won’t find you books you can read right away.
I’m more of a QueryTracker girl for tracking my submissions, but AgentQuery has better information on the side of researching what books an agent has represented. AQ pulls the information from Publishers Marketplace, complete with category and book description. QT, on the other hand, has a tab listing the agent’s clients, so you still have to click through to see what they write.
A simple search for an agent’s name in Google Books will pull up where the agent is mentioned in an acknowledgements page. Be sure to put quotes around the name, or it will pull up any book that has both names somewhere in the book. You’ll also get some agent guides in the search, but if the agent has been working for a while, you’ll get a nice sampling of his/her clients. You might even find some books on which he/she worked as an assistant.
You’re most likely to hear agents talking about their clients when they have a book coming out, so this is a great way to discover their current clients. I’ve found a number of books for my TBR pile this way.
I left this for last because it requires more digging to find books agents have represented through a general Internet search. But it can yield links to author pages where they’ve listed their agent, and then to the books they’ve published. Agent interviews also can be a great resource. Often the interviewers ask the agent about recent books/books they have coming out soon, and you can add those to your list.
If you don’t find any books for an agent using the methods above, they’re either too new to have client books out, or you should rethink querying them. If they’re established agents, they should have published clients.
So, in the spirit of continuing to make this process easier for everyone out there, I’m adding a permanent page to my blog listing MG/YA agents and the books they’ve represented. I want your input, too. If you have a list similar to mine, please send it to mfaszold(at)hotmail(dot)com and I will add it to my list. A note: I only want to include books you can verify the agent represented, whether through the acknowledgments in the book itself, a PM listing, the agent and/or author’s website/blog, etc. As I stated above, just because an agent represents a particular author doesn’t mean they represented all of that writer’s books. I’d hate to list something that’s incorrect and have a writer query one of these agents citing a book they didn’t represent. So, I’m trusting you here :). I’ll continue to update the list as I read and as others send me theirs.