Hmmm . . . after my blog on agents, many of you had questions.
Tracy asked, “This is helpful! As a newbie to all this, are there resources to help me identify which agents are taking new writers/if they prefer fiction or non-fiction, etc.?”
Great question, Tracy. The best resource is The Christian Writers Market Guide (which has a great pre-order price right now!).
This should have a list of agents and what they are accepting/looking for.
Of course, just because someone is looking for you doesn’t mean that is the right person for you. It’s a relationship that will need to be built on trust. (Focus on that word: “relationship.”)
There are three ways to find a good agent.
1. Ask around. Talk to authors. Ask lots of questions. Ask for recommendations. If you have a close relationship with a published author—who knows your work and wants to support you—that person might be willing to recommend you to their agent.
2. Read agent blogs. Their personalities will come through. If you connect with someone’s blog, you’ll probably connect with that person in real life. If you find someone you like, comment often. They do pay attention, and it’ll be a great way to build a relationship.
3. Meet agents at conferences. Two conferences I highly recommend are the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference and the Mt. Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference. Worth. Every. Penny.
Before you get TOO caught up, though, always ask yourself a few questions:
1. Do I know who I am and what I want to write? Agents look for career writers. If you only have one project, one book, and don’t know what to do next, you’re not ready. If you have a million ideas with no real focus, you’re not ready.
2. Am I building a readership? Do you blog? Are you active in social media? Do you speak? Things aren’t like the old days; you need more than just a good idea. You need a group of people who look to you and trust your words or advice. (This is for non-fiction; for fiction you need to have at least one great novel, already written.)
3. Am I at a place in my life that I can look to building my career? And does your spouse support you? Consider getting an agent as “going to work.” If you have an idea and your agent presents it to a publisher, you’ll have weeks or months—not years—to pull a proposal together. Is this the right season for you?
Finally, here are some agent blogs I recommend (which means I highly respect these agents, too!):
Books and Such Blog: http://www.booksandsuch.biz/blog/
Steve Laube Agency: http://stevelaube.com/blog/
Alice Crider: http://www.alicecrider.com/category/writing/
(Alice is just getting started in agenting. She’s my former editor and a good friend!)
*Photo credit: Image courtesy of luigi diamanti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net