Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This might be overkill - you tell me

In my search for an agent I've gone through several websites and listed over 100 potential agents. I have a spreadsheet that has the agents name, agency, information (who they rep, what they're looking for), how to query them, and what to query with (sample chapters, synopsis).

Now I'm doing a more detailed table on each agent. This is what it looks like:

Agent Name:
Agency:
Location:
Who they represent:
Interests:
What they’re looking for:
Tidbits:
Interview Information:
How to query:
What to send:
Predators & Editors:
AAR:

Am I going overboard on research and thus procrastinating pressing the send button, or is this just thorough research?

On another note:

I read the first chapter to Across the Universe by Beth Revis. It was available for 12 hours today and it totally rocked. I stopped at chapter 2, because I'd rather read it from a book, which I'm buying tomorrow. Um, maybe I wouldn't like a kindle.

26 comments:

ali said...

Hey Patti! You are not going over overboard at all! It's important to do your homework - that's a step I think many people skip. But did you know about Query Tracker? They allow free use of their massive database of agents and they've already done much of the leg work. They also provide, well, a way to track your queries. :) I love them and use them religiously. I'm on my phone right now, but I think the URL is www.querytracker.net. Good luck!

Jessica Nelson said...

It's possible you may be procrastinating. ;-)
I def. recommend querytracker to. Its very user friendly. Have fun!

Anne Gallagher said...

I think too, you may be a might bit frightened.

You don't need all that info. My list just includes
name
address
genres
AAR/RWA
Howto query/what to send
preditors & editors

They say to personalize each and every query...well, if you did that you'd be waiting years befor you were pubbed.

I have a generic, one size fits all query, that I send to all the agents. I did not personalize any of them. And it seems to work. I mean they keep requesting.

Stop procrastinating, just do it.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

LOL. Then you can do mine. I'm even procrastinating doing the research. ;)

And definitely check out http://querytracker.net/

Tracy said...

Actually, I think I'm going to steal your list there (the questions, not the agents).

I've always researched them, but never thought about looking for their clients, etc. I think the more you know about an agent the better choices you can make about who to target.

Angela Felsted said...

Just go to Query Tracker, they have all the sources listed and linked up. Predators and editors, publishers marketplace, comments from other queriers, stuff like that.

Laura Pauling said...

It is important to do research but I think after a certain point it's pointless because it's really about the writing. but it certainly can't hurt! Especially if you made the information public on your blog like Casey!

Susan R. Mills said...

You can never go overboard on researching agents. I like your idea of using a spreadsheet. I've just been using a spiral notebook. Hmm... another thing on my to-do list this week. :)

Dara said...

That's not overboard! That's a good amount of research. When I start querying, that's about how much I'll have.

Lynn said...

Looks like a very organized and detailed list. I like control, organization, and would rather be more prepared, then be caught by surprise. As long as you follow through with the action after done the research, you've done the right amount for you.

Colene Murphy said...

I think you should gather this last research and then get right to it! No more stalling!!

Definitely get ATU! It is SO good!!

Carolyn V. said...

I don't think you are going overboard either. Picking an agent who in turn wants to pick your book is a big deal. =)

Mim said...

I came to comment to tell you about QueryTracker. I see that other people have done the same thing. It's awesome, a time saver, and lists all of the things you are thinking about. I still do a little googling of the agent's name right before I send so I can personalize the query, and make sure she's good match. You need to start sending out!

C Ann Golden said...

You're not going overboard at all; you're just being thorough and smart. By doing the legwork up front like you are doing now, you will increase your success rate in the end. So, research away!

Melissa Marsh said...

I don't think you're going overboard, either. Looks like a great way to find the perfect agent. Wishing you luck!

JEM said...

Not overboard for sure! Can I borrow that list when you're done :)? Also, I have to tell you I have a nook (early Christmas present to myself) and it's a totally different reading experience from reading a book on the computer. Different technology. And you don't have to worry about breaking the spine (or maybe that's just something I obsess over alone).

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Hi Patti - love your blog:) I don't think your agent list is at all overkill. I think it's organized and will ultimately help you sift through the many agents out there. So glad I stopped in from Trisha Leaver's site!

Erin MacPherson said...

Sounds superorganized to me... but not overboard. A lot of agents get SO many queries that I'm guessing they really appreciate the people who have done thier research. Good Luck!

Elena Solodow said...

Definitely not overkill. I have the same thing. Just makes querying much easier.

Holly Ruggiero said...

I will probably do the same thing. I have querytracker bookmarked but haven’t registered yet.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

#1. You are not going overboard--you're smart.

#2. Reading on a Kindle is NOT like reading on a computer. I didn't think I'd like one either, but I love mine.

K. M. Walton said...

I joined Query Tracker.net and it was worth every single penny. They have every single bit of information right there at your fingertips (agent email addresses - links to agency sites - what type of query they accept - etc...) and even stuff you would never think of...like the best month to query an agent and how many partials/fulls they've requested...how many rejections they've handed out? And it keeps track of your querying stats FOR you.

BEST tool out there for querying.

Melissa Gill said...

I'm totally into spreadsheets and analysis like this too. But I found that after beating my head against the wall that Querytracker does all that work for you. It even gives you statistics. It's pretty cool.

But if it makes you feel better to be super prepared, sometimes that's what you have to do. Anything to make that first step a little easier.

Carol Riggs said...

I dunno, I hate all the research for agents, and yet it's a necessary evil. So I tend NOT to do detailed research until I'm actually at the moment of sending something off. I keep general files, like an interview or something on that agent (in my Agents folder), and then when I'm ready to query--like when a rejection comes back--then I do the more thorough research.

Candice said...

I don't know if you're going overboard, but why don't you just go ahead and forward me that list. ;) Sounds awfully useful!!

Cammie said...

Hi Patti!

I think a homemade agent d.b. is brilliant ... you can't trust the ones you find on the internet to be up-to-date (in other words, you're gonna have to click on each individual website anyway, so might as well keep track of it!) Heck, maybe you could post your own website!