How to Research Agents: Fun with Statistics

In case you’re just joining this series, I started it because a writer queried me and brought it to my attention that some newer writers may not know how to build an agent spreadsheet. We’re now on the fifth post in the series (sixth if you count the one I’d written last year on finding…

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How to Research Agents: Submission Guidelines

It’s time to move on to submission guidelines, and this is a really long post, so let’s get to it. We’ll be adding a few more columns to the spreadsheet today. As a reminder, the columns we currently have are: Agent, Agency, Website, Blog, Twitter, Represents, Looking for, Books to Read, Books I’ve Read, Notes…

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How to Research Agents: What Are You Looking For?

We’re going to step back from adding to the spreadsheet today. Because I realized that if you are new to this process of researching agents, I need to put on the Auntie Michelle hat and give you a bit of advice. It feels a little weird because I’m not an aunt at all, but whatever….

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How to Research Agents: What They’re Looking For

Last week we started researching agents by creating a spreadsheet with the agent’s name, agency, website, blog and Twitter account. Now, because you used your category as the search term in QueryTracker (i.e., Fiction – Middle Grade), you know all of the agents on your list represent the general category. But those categories are broad–particularly…

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How to Research Agents: Starting A Spreadsheet

The other day I had something very surprising happen: a writer queried me. It was a decent query, and I sent the writer a nice reply with a couple of resources. I can only assume the writer found my email address from this blog, and it got me thinking. While I realize that most of…

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WriteOnCon! With Advice If You’re Posting in the Forums

It’s WriteOnCon time! WriteOnCon is a free, online conference for picture book, middle grade, young adult, and (this year) new adult writers. If you fit into any (or all!) of these categories, you should definitely check it out! The information I’ve gleaned from this conference over the past few years is beyond measurement. One of…

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Thoughts on Revising from Public Critiques

Two weeks ago I was privileged to participate in #BLOGPITCH, a blog hop hosted by Authoress for the purpose of gathering critiques for my Twitter pitch and first 250 words. First of all, I want to say how much I appreciate everyone who stopped by to comment on my post. I really appreciated the critiques….

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What I’ve Learned in Three Years of Querying

Today marks three years since I seriously started querying my work. As a frame of reference, I’ve queried three manuscripts during that time. All of them started out middle grade, but one of them I aged up to young adult after a revise and resubmit request from an agent. I’m currently getting a fourth manuscript…

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When Is It Time to Finish Querying?

I touched on this topic once before, as part of a post on timing, and I want to emphasize the distinction between stopping and finishing. I think these are two different things. You can just stop because you’re discouraged or you can finish, leaving no stone unturned. Here are some things to consider if you’re…

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Querying Is Not A Science

I never really liked science in school, but I still did well in it because it follows rules. If you use the right ingredients and follow the steps exactly, you get the expected outcome. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a set formula for landing an agent? Actually, strike that. There is a formula:…

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If You Have to Explain It, Something’s Not Working

The other day, Writer’s Digest tweeted the following: “If it needs explanation, it’s not working. #writetip” It’s such a simple statement, and so true. If your query or sample pages bring up the kind of questions that confuse readers instead of intriguing them, something’s not right. I’d also reverse it and say that if someone…

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How to Find Books Agents Represent

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…

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