Sunday, 24 March 2013

How to Hunt Down an Agent

I know most readers of this blog are primarily short story writers, but many are also writing novels and therefore might one day need to find an agent to sell their novels. I'm currently deep into edits myself, and the day when I want to start hunting for an agent grows ever closer.

So how do you go about finding an agent who represents books in your genre, is actively looking for new writers, and is someone you feel you could work well with? Those who've been round this loop before are probably beginning to mutter about using The Writers' and Artists' Yearbook as a starting place, and reading agency websites, and about how long it all takes and how difficult it all is.

What if there was a one-stop shop website with a searchable database of all UK literary agents? One where you could put in search criteria such as genre, length of time as an agent, whether looking for more clients or not, number of clients currently on the books. A website with a bio of each agent, links to their websites, blogs and Twitter accounts, plus notes on their personal likes and dislikes? Wouldn't that be just fantastic?

I thought so, too. Especially after spending a pleasant hour or so yesterday browsing it. I've book-marked it, of course, as I think it'll come in very handy once I've got through editing my novel.



Oh, I guess you want me to share the link? OK, then, here you go: http://www.agenthunter.co.uk/index.html

It's brand new - only launched a couple of weeks ago. Its creators,  The Writers' Workshop, emailed all agencies in the country asking for bios etc for the website. Not every agent responded but it looks like the vast majority did, and the database contains hundreds of entries. You can even save your searches so if you are working through a long list of possibles, you will be able to come back to it.

You can 'try before you buy' by registering for free on the site. You'll then get 7 days to explore the site. After that you need to pay £12 for a year's subscription, or cancel. Alternatively, and this is really cool, take a look at this post on The Writers' Workshop blog where they are giving away 50 free full subscriptions in return for a blog post reviewing the site.

Given that books listing agents are almost as much as a subscription to the website, contain less info about each agent and tend to be out of date as soon as they've been published, I reckon AgentHunter will very quickly become the standard way to start your search for an agent.

10 comments:

Wendy's Writing said...

Haven't written anything long enough to need an agent but if I did, this sounds brilliant. I will save it anyway.

Debbie said...

This is great news.

JO said...

What a great site this sounds - have bookmarked this to come back to when the time comes.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

My daughter was just telling me about this the other day! We're both in the agent market.

Dolores Doolittle said...

Thank you as always, Womag, for finding time to share this - sounds fantastic!

Jean Bull said...

Thank you so much for sharing the good news. It's a wonder that no one has set up a site like this before. Really useful!

Kate Jackson said...

Thanks for sharing this with us - off to check it out now.

Anonymous said...

Thank for this, Womag. After several months of trying to work out what agents and publishers are looking for I can confirm it is not at all easy. In fact it is so difficult I am considering the self publishing on Kindle route. I'll be having a look on this site first though now. If anyone has any thoughts on the benefits of sticking out for an agent or publisher I'd love to hear. Thanks.

stevie-carroll said...

I'll definitely be checking that one out. Thanks for linking.

antoniabloomwriting said...

I've joined already, Womag. Thanks for the information. It looks like a brilliant resource for anyone wondering about the minefield of agents out there.