I Want A Dream Agent, So I Don’t Have To Dream Alone

It’s confession week, and that means time for us PLCers to recap what we’ve been up to, writing-wise, for the month. I’ve finally finished my revisions on The Iron Key and gotten everything out to my betas. Since then, I’ve rested on my laurels.

What I should have been doing is going through my back issues of Locus and trolling through the sales section for agents. (If you want to know what’s going on in the speculative fiction neck of the publishing world, a subscription to Locus is essential.) I’m going to use Locus in conjunction with the Guide to Literary Agents and my own bookshelf (often the author will thank his agent on the first or last page), to make up a list of agents I think might be a good match for me. Then I’ll use the internet to confirm that said agents are open to queries and how they want to receive said queries.

I think that pinpointing a small handful of ideal agents is a better use of my time than just looking up everyone who reps fantasy and querying them all at once. After all, that’s how I approach the short story market- targeting the publication I think is most likely to buy my story first, rather than starting by submitting to The New Yorker or The Atlantic, as I know many beginning writers do, because they are supposedly “the best.”

I think the best agent, like the best market, is the one who is right for my story. For an agent, that means someone who will love it and fight for it. That’s what I want. So rather than papering all of New York with queries, I’m going to work hard to get my story in front of some very specific sets of eyeballs.

So, August. I will:

  • make a targeted agent list
  • draft my queries
  • write my synopsis

Also, to keep the good writing mojo going, I’m going to send out a pair of perfectly good short stories I’ve been sitting on for a while, and I’m going to write a third short story and send it out too. I find the more I have out in the marketplace, the better I feel about myself as a writer, even when I’m having one of those days where every time I sit down to write, something explodes five minutes later. Like yesterday. And the day before that.

And right now, as someone is knocking at my front door. Until next week, my friends.