How do you research agents? Once my group gives my MG novel, the Glimmerlings & The Book of Sleep, one last read, I will begin querying. I have tons of bookmarks of literary agencies, and am really excited to enter this next phase. I also have editor and agent contacts from the two SCBWI cons I have attended.

Once I get organized and begin, I am sure that there are a few that will rise to the top. the Dream Agent: Ms. Amanda-Binky-Vater-Reamer-Goldblatt. You know the crowd.

Agent Query will be a good place to look. I want to be very selective and query those who I feel would be a good fit.

Publishers Marketplace lists which agents are selling what titles so that is another good source. (I haven't joined, though, it's kind of expensive: $20.00 a month. Which isn't outrageous, but still, one more monthly commitment.) Maybe it's worth it. I do get the free email: Publisher's Lunch, which gives some news but not the specifics on deals.

So how did you go about finding an agent? Did you just query everyone or were you more specific?


Tabitha said... is an amazing resource. I've done the bulk of my research there, and it has never fallen short. is also a good resource, with good info.

But as far as Publisher's Marketplace goes, you can browse or search the list of members for free. I've found this more helpful for editor searches - agents' pages at PM are nearly identical to their pages on So I don't think it's necessary to shell out the $20 a month. :)

For searching for publishing houses, is amazing.

Hope that's helpful!

Michele Thornton said...

It's not hard to find agents on the Internet, and every agency has a list and some generalities about each agent. But it's harder to drill past that level to find nuggets of gold that can help your query stand out.

I've had some luck Googling prospective agent's names to find interviews, etc. they may have out there in cyberspace, and get a better picture of what they REALLY like, what they are looking for, and their tastes. Of course if you've heard them speak at an event, all the better. Anything to make your query personalized is helpful in getting their attention.

Hit the library and seek out your favorite books in the genre you are pitching...often they will thank their agent in the dedication.

K. M. Walton said... is a great resource and so is's forums.

I always do a four-part cross check on each agent before I send a letter to him/her:
1. Query Tracker
2. Read up on what other writers are saying about the agent on Absolute Write
3. If the agency has website I peruse that for info.
4. Research on AgentQuery as a final check

Prince Balthazar said...

Great comments.

Tabitha, I'll have to take a look at PM again. I didn't know you could search for free. I'm a member of JacketFlap and that is helpful.

Michele, we're on the same page. Sometimes I look at the author's acknowledgements before I even read the flap copy! And I agree about the web as a tool. I am an expert, um, Googler, and sometimes find interviews with agents that contain good notes or references when querying.

Hi Kate, I have Query Tracker bookmarked but never looked around much. I'll definitely have to do that. I hope you're well.

Thanks for comments.

I wonder if my hopes will be dashed once I start querying. I have this fantasy that I will get an agent pretty quickly. I hope I'm not just one of the many disgruntleds that will soon see the how hard it is.

PJ Hoover said...

I found AgentQuery super helpful and also keeping my ears open at our local SCBWI meetings to see who people talked about. Course anyone I found on AgentQuery, I googled to make sure it was up to date information.
Also Verla Kay blueboards have a great amount of information, especially when new agents started up and were looking for projects and also on response times.
And finally, the Guide to Literary Agents blog is a nice one to subscribe to.
Have fun!

Big Plain V said...

Yes on 'Guide to Literary Agents Blog'. That sucker always had super hot, up-to-minute news on what those guys are doing. It's like Access Hollywood for literary agents.

cindy said...

i used AW's beware and backgrounds check as well as verla's. also good luck!

Prince Balthazar said...

Wow,thanks everyone. Lots of great tips.

Kelly said...

I'm going to sign up for that free Publisher's Weekly email! Great tips from everyone!