At a publishing panel I did in January, I mentioned a few web sites that will help for traditional publishing. A lot of work goes into this, and doing your research is a must in order to make sure you submit not only to the right agent, but that your query letter, manuscript, and synopsis are ready to go.
- This is a site dedicated to helping writers with their own query. You can post in on the forums and get feedback from other people on the site. Remember to give your own feedback. Even if you’re not an expert, reading through others queries will help you notice mistakes more readily. You’ll be able to help others and improve your own work.
- This site has tons of queries from the last few years readily available for you to read. My suggestion is to read them all, or at least as many as you can. As you go through the Shark’s archives you’ll see how she deconstructs them and how the author builds them back up into something sharper, cleaner, and something that will make an agent want to request pages.
- This site is very resourceful for researching agents. It will show you what their genres include, who their current clients are, if they’re open to submissions, as well as a link to their website so you’re able to see their submission guidelines.
- This site also lets you track your submissions, whether you were rejected, pages were requested, etc.
- For one book you can use the free service, however if you have more one than one project it’s worth the $25 per year to be able to do multiple projects.
- On the front you can get a bit of information about the agent, their clients, and sales. However, this site is a little bit more expensive at $25 per month. That’s out of my league at the moment.
- My suggestion here is to do your research on query tracker, pay for a one month membership on Publishers Marketplace, research those agents as much as you can and then let the membership run out. Also take note of any other agents that may work for your story.
- This site is absolutely a must to find out information from clients regarding agents, indie pubs, and other small publishers. You don’t even have to sign up. Just go to Google, type in the name of the agent/publisher and put absolutewritewatercooler next to it. 99% of the time, it’s the first link in the search engine.
I can’t stress enough how important research is. This is going to help make your manuscript and all its components the best it can be, while helping you fine tune the list of agents you want to submit to. Taking these steps will make the process of submission a much easier one. The feeling of rejection is never a good one, but having a personalized reply instead of a form letter will ease the pain a bit. Doing your research and ensuring you follow guidelines give you a much better chance all around.