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Agent Search

June 13, 2016

My quest to find an agent began in earnest this week. We can put this in the “indefinite timeline” section of my tasks.

The process is relatively simple. I write a one-page query letter that I send to agents, along with a book proposal that’ll probably be in the range of 20 to 30 pages. The query letter is basically a pitch for the prospective agent to read the proposal, and the proposal is a description of the project, background on me, a business case of some kind, and so on.

So my immediate tasks are to draft the letter and the proposal, compile a list of potential agents, and then start soliciting. The writing components are straightforward enough: I’ve applied to enough jobs to know my way around a cover letter, and there’s no part of the proposal that I haven’t been mulling for years (you could probably cobble together an effective one using only posts on this blog). There are also some great resources that provide listings of agents (and, mercifully, how to reach them), but that’s the part that’s going to take some work.

I need to be discreet about who I’m pitching to, and the pitches themselves need to be individualized to the extent that the recipients don’t think they’re just receiving a form letter. An agent wants to know that I’ve done some research and am reaching out to them specifically because of their interests and specialties, so each query letter needs to demonstrate that. So I can use the big databases to compile a short list of my own, and then winnow it down from there by investigating each agent. It’s nothing outside of my abilities, but it’s going to take some work.

This search is my main priority with regard to the book right now, but I’ve also got to keep working on the book itself, not to mention keep up the freelance hustle so I can sustain myself.

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