Author Topic: Researching Agents and Not Wanting to Read 10,000 books  (Read 599 times)

Offline AvidandManic

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Researching Agents and Not Wanting to Read 10,000 books
« on: April 14, 2019, 11:52:11 PM »
Before I send a query letter to an agent, I would like to know what that agent likes and dislikes.

Of course I know I can find out if they want literary fiction, or science fiction, or memoirs etc.  A multiplicity of resources can give me that information.

But I want to know stuff much more important and hard to get:  I want to know their prejudices, their politics, their biases -- I want to know everything which might determine whether they would like or dislike a particular query letter or book.

Of course, I could read their books.  But this is a proposition that even the most ardent bibliophile might find revolting:

There are over 1000 literary agents in the US.   On average, each agent has sold perhaps 10 books in the past several months.   1000 times 10 equals 10,000.   I don't have the time to read so many books.  I also have to earn bread.  And I would like a few minutes for mindless pleasures (Oh to be young again and smoke weed and listen to Monty Python) 

SO THIS IS MY QUESTION:  How can I get information on agents fast, without reading all their books. 

Offline retroisking

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Re: Researching Agents and Not Wanting to Read 10,000 books
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2019, 03:39:11 AM »
Why do the extra step? If they reject you because of the story or political leaning, that's their loss. If you really want to know, check out their social media profiles.

Offline AvidandManic

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Re: Researching Agents and Not Wanting to Read 10,000 books
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2019, 11:31:38 PM »
Thanks for the idea, but I still find it really confusing.

Example:

I heard of an agent.  His name is Bill Hamilton.  He is in the UK.

I go to facebook.  I search for him using the name Bill Hamilton.

There are a million bill hamiltons.  I can't find any that seem to be him, e.g., I don't see anything indicating that they are remotely associated with being a lit agent or situated in the UK.

I hate to sound like a demanding SOB, but I don't know how to precisely, concretely research these guys.   

Offline retroisking

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Re: Researching Agents and Not Wanting to Read 10,000 books
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2019, 04:46:22 AM »
Most link their social profiles open to the public  on their BIO page. So if there twitter is public and FB private, you will only see the Twitter. One thing you can do is go to the agency's social media page and then scroll through their followers and find them that way.





Offline koji

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Re: Researching Agents and Not Wanting to Read 10,000 books
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2019, 12:18:43 PM »
Read their agency website. Read the MSWL if they have one. Read their entry on Publisher's Marketplace. Make your best judgement from these things. You don't have to go all stalker before an offer is even made.

Offline AvidandManic

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Re: Researching Agents and Not Wanting to Read 10,000 books
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2019, 11:53:34 PM »
Kroji referred to an MSWL.  What is that?

Thanks for your help

Offline koji

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Re: Researching Agents and Not Wanting to Read 10,000 books
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2019, 06:16:28 AM »
https://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/

Not every agent is on there, but it is helpful.