Getting a literary agent: spreadsheets may help!

A fellow author has asked me how to get an agent.  The answer is: I wish I knew!  At the moment I don’t have an agent, though it is not from want of trying.  Each time I complete a manuscript I query numerous agents whom I think may be interested.  After I began writing seriously I read somewhere that keeping a spreadsheet of agents queried is useful so I did that with my first manuscript and have done it ever since.  I also query directly to (a few) publishers and add these to the bottom of the spreadsheet.

When I completed my second manuscript I created a fresh spreadsheet using some of the agents who had responded somewhat positively to the first one, plus many other agents I’d never previously queried.  This was a different kind of book and one gets better at sourcing agents.  Same with my third novel.

I’m currently working on a Young Adult novel, and am about halfway along with it.  I have a spreadsheet prepared for it and already have several agents listed there for when I’m ready to query them.

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