We’ve reached the shining light at the end of another NaNoWriMo! How did everyone do? Does anyone have a complete novel burning a hole in a desk drawer/Dropbox? Before you start querying agents, we have some advice from agent and author Eric Smith about your next steps that will strengthen your book and give you a better shot at finding the best agent for your work.
Smith understands both sides of this equation, as he agents with the P.S. Literary Agency, but is also the author of The Geek’s Guide to Dating, and a YA series, Inked. He shared his post-NaNoWriMo thoughts over on YA Interrobang, advising new authors not to rush the author/agent relationship:
Remember, that a partnership with an agent is just that. A partnership. Chances are, you’ll become friends, or at least colleagues who talk frequently.
It’s important not to think of yourself as a writer desperate for an agent to pick you. If you’ve written a good book, agents are going to want you to choose them. Agents need writers. We look for you, hungrily. You are wanted.
So take your time, and choose your agents that you want to pitch wisely. What books have they worked on? Do they work in your genre? Look up their recent sales. Look up what they’ve read lately. Make sure this is someone you can see yourself working with, and that this is someone who would be into your book.
He also advises new authors to look at sites like Manuscript Wishlist, Publishers Marketplace, and even Twitter threads like #PitMad and #PitchMadness to get a sense of what types of writing will appeal to each agent. Plus his mnemonic about a successful pitch (“the hook, the book, and the cook”) will take a lot of the guesswork out of the query-writing process. Check out the whole post over at YA Interrobang, and happy query writing!