A 5-Part Series
The four pieces of advice I’ve read about finding agents:
- Find someone who has represented a book similar to yours – MSWishList is amazing in this respect
- Be interesting. Be concise.
- Accommodate the submission guidelines
- Research the agent and personalize
For the first, what’s your genre? Crime? Horror? Romance? My first novel happens to be Young Adult (YA) Fantasy. Labels are always weird, so don’t worry if your book doesn’t quite fit in one spot perfectly. Just remember to focus on the biggest elements of your book. A little bit of Romance but a lot of Horror? Then you’ve got a Horror book, with a chance to eek out some interest on the Romance.
Since Charlotte Gnoll is YA Fantasy, I went to Google and Amazon to find the best sellers in that particular genre. The list I generated was a mish mash of popular and critical darlings. I’ve include the agents associate with the titles/series. How’d I figure that information? More on that after the list.
- Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brian Sanderson
- Agent: Eddie Schneider
- City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
- Agent: Barry Goldblatt
- Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
- Percy Jackson & the Olympians by Rick Riordan
- Agent: Nancy Galt
- Eragon by Christopher Paolini
- Agent: Simon Lipskar
- Graceling by Kristin Cashore
- Agent: Faye Bender
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- Agent: Rosemary Stimola
- Divergent by Veronica Roth
- Agent: Joanna Volpe
- Legend by Marie Lu
- Icons by Margaret Stohl
- Agent: Sarah Burnes
- The Maze Runner by James Dashner
- Agent: Michael Bourret
- Sabriel by Garth Nix
- Agent: Jill Grinberg
- Amanda Hocking
- Agent: Steven Axelrod
- Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger
- Agent: Laura Rennert
- The Shadow Falls Series by CC Hunter
- Agent: Kim Lionetti
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
- Agent: Geoffrey Bles (exclusive to Lewis and very dead)
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
- Agent: none
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusack
- Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Agent: Sally Keefe-Cohen, who represents the literary aspects of Montgomery’s estate.
First question, why The Book Thief and Anne of Green Gables? I know they’re hardly fantasy books. What they are, however, are books centered around young girls whose strength, vulnerability, and general chutzpah, which is exactly how I’ve painted Charlotte. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box with comparative books and agents you’d like to work with.
Second question, how’d I find all those agents?
- Google is your friend. Best search string is “[book title] and [author name] and agent”. If you don’t get anywhere with that, throw in the word “represent” and/or representation.
- The author database at QueryTracker allows you to search for agents by authors they’ve represented. QueryTracker is also great for getting to know a little bit more about your agents.
Third question, why go through the hassle of finding books like yours and then the agents of those books? In the best case scenario, your agent is your biggest fan – the person who likes what you do and thinks you can make some money doing more of it (and therefore make some money, too). So it makes to find an agent who already likes similar books and has had success publishing those books in the past.