After my last post about whether you need an agent, a reader posed a great question: How do you find a reputable agent who represents nonfiction (or any other genre)?
Here are some places to start:
1. Querytracker lists tons of agents and publishers. When you visit the site, you can search by genre, find contact info, see statistics about reply time, and more. The site also helps you track your submissions. There are other similar sites out there as well.
2. Look at resource guides such as Writer’s Market, Children’s Writers and Illustrators Market, and the SCBWI resource guide. Writers’ magazines like Writer’s Digest and The Writer often list agents and feature interviews as well.
3. Google is your friend! Find out who represents other authors in your genre by checking out their website or by searching (author’s name) and agent. If you’d like to learn more about a particular agent, check out their agency website and google interviews with them. Take a look at their social media and at www.manuscriptwishlist.com as well.
4. You may want to subscribe to Publishers Marketplace for a month to search agents and their sales. (It runs about $25/month.) Please note though that not all sales are reported to PM, and there can be a long delay before they’re reported.
5. Network. Ask questions in Facebook groups like NF Fest, or at SCBWI meetings. Talk to your writer friends about their agents. Be judicious in asking for referrals, though, so you don’t put your friends in an awkward position.
6. If an agent offers representation, it’s fine to take a little time to answer. They should be willing to provide referrals so you can talk to current clients if you wish.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but hopefully it gives you a start on researching agents. Feel free to drop any questions or other tips in the comment box below!
Lisa Amstutz is an associate literary agent with Storm Literary Agency and the author of more than 150 books. Her most recent titles include Mammal Mania and Plants Fight Back. Learn more at www.LisaAmstutz.com.
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