Where are you looking?

We've been talking recently here about cover letters and writing pages and touched only briefly on the actual mechanics of locating names for potential agents.

I've always recommended the old standbys at Writer's Market and Publisher's Marketplace.

It occurs to me (slowly yes, but eventually) that since Miss Snark is herself not seeking an agent (marriage brokers to the stars do NOT count!) she could use some advice from the Snarklings.

Where are you looking for agent names and info?
Are any better, or more effective, than others?

If you want to pass on info that you don't want made public, email Miss Snark at misssnark@earthlink.net


Anonymous said...

www.agentquery.com is a useful free alternative to writersmarket, which I also check. I do find it amusing that although both of these sites are supposedly based on info submitted by agents, they'll contradict each other. On one site, the agent is actively looking; on the other, the agent couldn't care less about submissions. On one site email accepted on the other no way.

I'll also google any agent extensively.

Anonymous said...


Writer's Market
Jeff Herman's Guide
Publishers Marketplace
Publishers Weekly (Hot Deals Page)
Agent Research (no, don't pay them - but search around for the list of Agents and number of clients/sales) then go through the list above and see if you have a fit.

Preditors and Editors
Victoria Straus at http://www.writerbeware.org/

AND even with all this, you're going to come across scammers, or maybe even worse, agents who think they're agents - they might not take your money, but they will take your time - they've never had a sale, don't have the contacts, but, like us, are hoping against hope to find or be the next Nicholas Sparks.

These well meaning folks are the hardest to detect because they don't show up as being scammers.

But your gut feeling should be if someone takes your novel and shops it around for a year, and still hasn't sold yours or the thirty other ones she is shopping about, there is something terribly wrong.

Miss Snark, am I wrong here?

al said...

Miss Snark,
If I read a book and the author writes in the genre/style I do, then I look in acknowledgements to see who is the agent to the author. Then check out the webpage of the agency and submission details, past sales, etc.
Publishers Marketplace is a good way to get info or I Google the agency/agent for websites or articles they may have written or been interviewed for.
Predators and Editors is an excellent resource for checking out if an agency is recommended by their guidelines (ie P&E will give a big fat NOT RECOMMENDED if the agency charges reading fees or has been charged with fraud. And yes, there are agents that have had those charges/convictions).
Plus, online writing communities help. Authors talk - and if you can get first hand information from authors who have dealt with a particular agent, then that is another great resource.
Hope this helps!

Rene said...

Because I write romance, I start with the agents approved and listed by the RWA. I cross check with P&E. I also use agentquery.com. I like that site a lot. I'll go to the websites of writers in my genre and find out who there agent is.

Travis said...

I think agentquery.com is the best resource. I stopped buying Herman's crap after one of the agents he listed directed me to Edit Ink.

Anonymous said...

Gerard Jones' "Everyone Who's Anyone in Adult Trade Publishing" is a great resource not only for agents but publishers and movie production companies. His site is by far the most entertaining to read, as he brazenly shares his correspondence with the numerous agents who rejected him over many years.If you're not aware of it, this site will keep you amused for hours, in addition to providing up-to-date addresses and phone numbers of the majoritiy of agents.

Miss Snark said...

Edit Ink?
Miss Snark about dropped her morning coffee (catastrophe averted thank god, FEMA can stand down) after googling those guys.

One GREAT thing about the web: it's almost impossible now to perpetrate that kind of fraud on anyone who's paying a modicum of attention.

However, fraudsters always find a way to adapt to new technology. I wonder how they'll try to scam people now!

Anonymous said...

I use all the sources mentioned so far. But, what does Miss Snark think about writer's blogs? Do you think it sells books even for popular writers.
I just read an article that stated that some 80,000 blogs are started each day! How would anyone even find their way to a writers blog??? Do agents really check the blogosphere anyway? And do agent look through the authors writing and posting on sites such as Publishers marketplace? Blogging is fun, but are we wasting out time thinking we'll be discovered through our blogs?

Anonymous said...

I agree -- agentquery.com is the up-and-coming best. And their "customer service" is phenomenal. They are my "launch pad," so to speak.

Anonymous said...

Miss Snark, I echo Anon 10:46 above. I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts about blogs. Not just whether you think authors have a snowball's chance of getting "discovered" by blogging, but if you think it's a good marketing tool in general.

Anonymous said...

check out this article about blogs to books in The Book Standard:

Anonymous said...

I hate to admit it (both his shameless self-promoting and his actual literary writing are am-a-teur), Everyone Who's Anyone led me to several requests for partials and fulls, and eventually to the guy I signed as an agent. As a big list of updated contact information (namely, email addresses), it's a good source.

Crystal* said...

Writer's Market
Jeff Herman
AAR site
Preditors and Editors
Passionate Pen
Charlotte Dillon's site
Writers Net


Molly said...

I research via word-of-mouth and by researching agents of authors who seem to have gotten good publicity/coverage.

I cross people OFF the list when they implode at RWA conferences.

Anonymous said...

I've been checking the Acknowledgements page in mysteries that are similar to mine. Plenty of authors thank their agents by name.

Peter L. Winkler said...


Anonymous said...

Guide to Literary Agents for starters....and actually for the road, the long haul. If you read it carefully, you can get lots of good information.

I wonder if there is a preponderance of agents with last names beginning from A to D who get a preponderance of queries--just because exhaustion can set in and writers can get impatient going all the way through to Susan Zeckendorf Assoc. Inc. But, as I did, sometimes you begin at the Z's and go backward. I'm sure that somewhere in the very middle--or to the right of the middle--you would find Miss Snark.

Or not.