ALEX SAYS: “Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!”
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world! Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG.”
Hello insecure authors everywhere. Question: What kind of author are you? What kind of author do you want to be?
I’m a self-published author right now, but I’m not rigidly confined to that label, however much I like many of it’s advantages. What about you?
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’ve never tried to traditionally publish, but that’s not to say I wouldn’t be open to a fabulous contract should one fall at my feet. 🙂 And the ‘war’ between self-publishing and traditional publishing is being silenced somewhat by the evolution of both, into a newer, more reasonable form — hybrid publishing.CLICK FOR SOURCE
This means, although you might not presently be interested in getting an agent or publisher because you’re self-pubbing and loving it, you might change your mind for that thriller series you’re planning. Or perhaps you’ve always had a publisher but their restrictions on genre and word count have you growling like your were-wolf characters, so you’re going to self-publish your latest genre flip into the treacherous trenches of urban fantasy. (Ouch, excuse the alliteration). 😛
All I mean is, is the publishing industry is vast, ever-changing, and at your fingertips. Indeed, it’s a great time to be an author. We have choices now, and that rocks!
So whatever background you have, where ever you are in your writing career, there may well come a time when you are in the process of trying to secure a traditional contract. At that stage, you’ll need resources which help you troll through the massive lists of available representatives. That’s where Agent Hunter comes in.
I was asked to take a look at this site recently, and because I respect the person who asked (Writers’ Workshop creator and best-selling crime novelist, Harry Bingham), I said yes. You see, Agent Hunter is the creation of The Writers’ Workshop, the UK’s largest editorial consultancy for new writers, which has contacts with literary agents and helps writers secure representation and book deals. They also run the Festival of Writing in York (I so need to go).
Here’s what I found…
You can choose to search for an agent, an agency or a publisher. I chose to search for an agent first.
How to use Agent Hunter to search for a literary agent (you may also search for an agency or publisher)
Go to the literary agents search page. You’ll find an unsorted list of every literary agent on Agent Hunter’s huge database. This will be useless in this form, so as with any other search, you’ll need to narrow the parameters using search tools.
Starting by clicking the handy genre button, I found a form that popped up and filled in all my genre choices. Then I refined my main genre search further because the list of agents that remained was still quite long. More search options included:
|Experience||How long has your agent been in business as an agent? Those who are somewhat newer may be more keen to build their client list.|
|List Status||How keen does an agent say they are for new clients? Agent Hunter asks every agent to tell us the status of their client list. The options are: keen to build their list / open to new clients / list is largely full. We use “open to new clients” as the default where agents do not supply an answer.|
|Number of clients||You may prefer your agent to have a shorter client list (because you get more attention), or a longer one (agent is more experienced). We draw our data from agents’ websites or by direct correspondence with agents. “No data” shows where agents refuse to disclose an answer.|
|Who represents who||If you love an author, you can use a keyword search to see if you can locate the agent who represents that author. Do note that not all agents disclose their client lists, so the keyword search won’t work where a given client-author relationship is not public.|
|Likes / hates (keyword)||If you’ve written a thriller set in the Italian Alps, try searching on related keywords (Italy, thriller, mountaineering, mountains, Alps, etc) to see if you can locate a thriller addicted mountaineering agent. We get likes / dislikes data direct from agents and from other published sources.|
|Meet Agents||Some agents make themselves available to meet writers at conferences like the Writers’ Workshop Festival of Writing in York. If you want to meet agents, you can set this option to “yes” to select only those agents you have a chance of meeting face to face.|
|Blogs / Twitter||If an agent blogs or tweets, you can sometimes get a useful idea of who they are and what they want. If you value that kind of data, set these search terms to “Yes” to select only those agents with the relevant online profile.|
If you want the agent to work at a certain type of agency, you can add that too. You can choose whether the agency is big or small, or whether it takes email submissions, for example. You can also stipulate whether the agency is a member of the Association of Authors’ Agents, although Agent Hunter says: “…there are some perfectly reputable agencies who are not members. If this matters to you, you can set the search to “Yes.”
If you like the resulting list, save that search. Then you can go through the same process and tweak that search (change genre or submission options, for example), or just move on to search for appropriate agencies or publishers, instead.
In short, if you desire a UK publisher, agent or agency, this could be a great option open to you. You might otherwise take months of searching directories for information that Agent Hunter could provide in minutes.
You can also click Try Before You Buy (no, I’m not an affiliate) and see if it’s right for you, without spending a penny!
Before I go, I wanted to say I’ll be posting Alex’s shout-out about his trilogy finale HERE on the 15th September. Please stop by and support his book launch! 🙂
So, where do you stand on publishing? Are you indie, traditional, hybrid? Are you on now, but plan on changing in the future? Are you happy with your lot and have no plans to change. Would you use Agent Hunter? What are your #IWSG issues?