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It’s been a while since I have done a post.  Working during the day and tutoring has taken over, along with family matters.  Actually though, the past couple of days have been most productive, and I have now sent out the “book baby” to 41 agents / agencies!  I found a nifty little website called Qurytracker, and pulled up a list of about 400 agents who represent my field of writing.  Wow!  My goal is to contact nearly all of them, one by one.

So how do you get through all those names?  Here’s how I am screening and sorting:

1- I am only going to query agents / agencies that accept emailed communications.  Why should I spend up all my paper, stamps and ink on a big fat maybe?  I’m doing enough work already.  I have only sent one paper query letter off out of 50 applications total.  Man, these guys are nuts if they think I would print out hundreds to thousands of pages if all these enterprises wanted proposals, synopses and sample chapters too!  No way José!  Saving a tree is the way to approach this initially.  I can always go back and snail mail the other old skool guys if I need to.  Hopefully I will have success before I get to that point!

2-  I am targeting female agents before males.  Adoption, babies, child development and coming of age are typically more chick-themed than dude themed.  Women would probably be more apt to pick up a read like mine, I would think.  That doesn’t mean I am not applying to male agents too.  I am.  In some cases, I am reading that agents in a company may work as a team and if they don’t seem interested in my work initially, they may possibly pass my submission on to another colleague in their office.

3-  I am finding anyone who might have something in common with me to appeal to, man or woman.  For example, I found one with the last name of Adams, which is my maiden name and name of my adoptive family in the book.  I found one agent with the same first name as me.  Maybe she will find what I have to say in Chapter 1 about my name amusing or relatable.  I found one who is a grad from the same college as me and another who is a grad from my daughter’s college. I like reading agent bios and seeing who is a parent, who loves dogs and cats, who might be from my neck of the woods or was a former teacher / education major before a literary career.  Ya never know.

The last agency / agent I queried this PM, before calling it quits for the night was Wally Lamb’s agent!  Woot!  If you don’t know, Wally Lamb is my fave modern literary fiction author!!!  Man, can that guy tell a story!  IMO, he’s as good as Stephen King....just not as into the macabre.  

One agent I will consider sending a paper mail packet to is the agent who represented David Pelzer, the man who wrote the CHILD CALLED “IT” series of memoirs.  Since it is the exact same genre as mine, memoir about a foster / adopted kid  (only his story was to the extreme), it’s worth a send if I need to.

So..... Here are my stats so far:  Roughly 400 agents / agencies to query.  50 queries sent out, 41 pending and 8 turn-downs so far.  One OK response from the local publisher who told me to keep searching but definitely come back to her in a year if something else didn’t work out before that because she could relate to Chapter 1 in my book submission!

P.

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