Looking for a Literary Agent: 3 Starter Resources

So you’ve written a book. (If you haven’t yet, go back a few spaces: agents rarely consider queries for unfinished, debut novels!) What next?

You begin the search for an agent, of course!

First, before you start the search, I highly recommend reading this Writer Beware: Agent Advisories and Tips from SFWA. It’s a comprehensive list of cautions and “things you should know” before you start looking for agents– including how to make sure the agent you’re looking at is qualified and reputable, fees to avoid, and more. Arm yourself with knowledge.

Once confident about what you’re looking for and what you should eschew, check out these 3 great resources for finding agents:

  1. Agent QueryThis is a searchable database designed expressly for finding literary agents. It’s far faster than its hamster-squashing, colossal textbook counterparts: you check the boxes of your book’s genre(s), enter in any relevant keywords and BOOM! results. Agent Query also offers excellent guidelines about how to write queries, how to submit, formatting, etc.
  2. Query Tracker – This is a multi-purpose resource website and features something like Agent Query’s searchable database with easy-to-read icons and results. It actually offers more search-refining filters than Agent Query does, including search by query method and even agent gender!
  3. Writer’s Digest Guide to Literary Agents Blog by Chuck Sambuchino Remember the godsend that established the Successful Queries series? Well, among other things turns out he also hosts a rolling segment all about literary agents, and frequently features “spotlight” agents that are either new to the literary scene and actively seeking clients or are established and calling for new clients. Either way, you can’t go wrong!

That’s all for now, but trust me, those three resources alone are enough to keep you busy a while. When I first found the Guide to Literary Agents Blog I might’ve read all day if my eyes hadn’t started to water!

Explore and let us know what you find. And if there are any agent-finding resources you yourself favor, feel free to share below.

Best of luck, aspiring novelists!

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13 responses to “Looking for a Literary Agent: 3 Starter Resources”

  1. Great resources, thanks! I’ve bookmarked them for future reference.

    1. Happy to help! πŸ™‚

  2. I appreciate your comprehensiveness and methodical approach as you move toward publication. And it is certainly giving me much to consider as I look at my own journey. Thanks for sharing.

    1. My pleasure. I hope, even if my attempts to be agented and then publish flounder miserably, they will be an educational experience for all.

  3. Congrats Julie, you’ve taken a giant step towards making a dream your reality. Kudos πŸ™‚

    1. It does feel like a big milestone– but the REAL milestone will be actually submitting!

      Thanks for the encouragement, Lila πŸ™‚

      1. No problem, Julie. Let me know when you make your first submission! Have a submission party then πŸ˜‰
        When do you plan to submit if I may ask?

        1. Haha, thanks, Lila– I fully intend to! πŸ™‚

          Ideally I will start submitting in June– I am, however, waiting for a certain highly-regarded beta reader’s feedback, and depending on her suggestions may find there are more significant changes I want to make before sending it out. We’ll see…either way, submissions will begin soon enough πŸ˜€

  4. Congrats and thanks for sharing the tips! OOT, but manβ€” I’m researching “spam-likers” and now I see them everywhere; I see at least two who liked this post.

    1. Thanks, Daniel. (And I think I know what you mean– sometimes I wonder.) Out of curiosity, what sort of research?

      1. I’m doing this piece for sairyou.me about WordPress “likes” spam. Basically, I dig into old and recent WP posts which addressed the issue and compile their “wisdom” into one post.

        The e-mail I sent you earlier was for another piece, a not-quite-360-degree view on blog awards, which should be published tomorrow. I don’t know why I’m doing this kind of research, I think it’s a hobby getting out of hand? πŸ™‚

        1. Ah-ha. Well, I’m all for the pursuit of hobbies. Looking forward to your findings!

  5. […] Perhaps it’s not surprising, considering the amount of time required to post a response to award nominations. Julie Israel was kind enough to respond to my little survey, amidst her busy schedule in getting her sci-fi thriller, “Shifters”, published: […]

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