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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Finding an agent and a wonderful review!

I want to start this blog entry with a HUGE thank you to fellow author, Jennifer Lane, who reviewed Pieces of Us and interviewed me on her website today. I had a lot of fun answering her questions and I hope you will all stop by and read the review.

http://jenniferlanebooks.blogspot.com/2011/12/author-hannah-downing-review-and.html

I've been considering getting a literary agent for a while now. I was lucky enough when I got my frist novel published that the publisher I applied to was accepting manuscripts directly from authors so I didn't need to have a 3rd party involved. Now, I'm looking to broaden my horizens and stretch myself a little and I think having an agent is going to help me to do that. I want to give my new novel the best chance it can have so I'm agent shopping. Let me tell you, it's hard and scary.

I have been warned by several authors and some terrifying websites that a lot of agents are fronts for editors who promise to get your book published, but it need some editing done and they just "happen" to know an editor who can do it (themselves) and they charge you for this service. Or, they have their own boutique publishing house that they "sell your book" to and then they can take agent fees and publishing fees from the author.

So, how do I find an editor I can trust? I know they are out there but how do I tell them apart from the evil ones who want to steal my money? And how do I know which agent is right for me? I have asked some of my author friends and the answer is RESEARCH! Read up on agents and the agency they work for. Don't trust everything that is written on websites and don't sign a contract until you feel safe and trust the person.

I'm curious if anyone reading this has an agent, or has looked for an agent in the past. Can anyone recomend a good agent? I'd love to hear from anyone who has expereince with this.

Hannah xx

6 comments:

  1. The Guide to Literary Agents is a great book that comes out each year. Your library may carry it. You still have to do your homework, but it's a great resource.

    Two of my favorite on-line sites are:

    AgentQuery (http://www.agentquery.com/). This site will allow you to search by genre, who is accepting queries, and how they prefer to be contacted.

    Predators & Editors tracks agents and will tell you if they charge fees or have been reported as an agent to avoid. http://pred-ed.com/pubagent.htm

    And then there is Query Tracker (http://querytracker.net/). I haven't used this one, but I know writers who do and they love it.


    I really enjoyed reading your interview!

    Happy Holidays!

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  2. Hey Cherie,

    Thanks for teh great links! I'm going to check them all out :)

    Merry Christmas!!

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  3. Hi Hannah,

    I did a few queries to agents before I found Omnific and I didn't have much luck, but hopefully the links Cherie provided will help. Good luck!

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  4. Hannah, you and I need to have a real long chat about agents! lol. I've been agent hunting for a long time and I'm kind of a vet at this point. I've had several very close calls and great contact that I ended up passing on for now because I'm going to finish the Light Series up with Omnific, so I've put the agent hunt on hold until that's complete. However, I think I've got it down to kind of a science. First of all, yes, the Guide to Literary Agents is a great starting point, but, it's kind of limited. It doesn't go into great current lengths about all the major agencies (and which particular agents) are seeking exactly your sort of genre, nor does it always list very precisely how to submit to said agents according to their companies' individual demands. I've found more amazing online resources than anything else, like Absolute Write, which tends to list verified and major agents in their forum threads, along with several sources I can link you to, if you'd like. Let me know. Chat me up. This is something I need to blog about once I land an agent, I think. It really is a song and dance you have to get down to the letter! And even then, expect lots of rejection before someone bites...

    xo
    Jen DeLucy

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  5. Thanks, Jen. I will definitely contact you soon about this because I have a million questions and to be honest, I'm quite scared of finding the right one.

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  6. I meant to mention that no matter what site you use to find an agent, it's good to check their website for guidelines. Like Jen said, it is a bit of a song and dance.

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