Here is where you will find a plethora of marketing, querying, researching, and “general things you should be reading” information. Consider this The Skinny—the down and dirty bare bones of where you can start.
By day, Janet is a snarky, super-helpful literary agent who blogs just about anything and everything you’d ever want to know. By night, she is the Query Shark—the chum-guzzling, dream-culling critic who just might get you published. (See link to the Shark Blog below.)
Jane is an award-winning blogger with beaucoup de experience and sagacious insight for writers. All of her posts are wicked helpful. When you subscribe to her newsletter, you get a free PDF about navigating contracts.
#MSWl is where agent’s post their wish lists. Unfortunately, there is not yet an inverse for authors. You can browse this site by genre and category to see which agents are searching for your incredible talent. #MSWL Wednesdays are updated weekly on Twitter.
Before you start querying, read this blog. ALL OF IT. Not only will you learn how to write a query, you will learn why good queries are good and why bad queries are bad. If you submit to Her Sharkiness, you might just stand a chance of having your submission reviewed for free-ninety-free.
Agent Query Connect:
When you think you have a winner, take it to Agent Query Connect. Post on this site to read other writers’ queries, study successful queries, and give/receive feedback. This is a great place to start if you’re looking to test the waters, and I’ve made friends here who still help me with my writing. Keep in mind that people who comment on your submission usually know just as much as you do. Treat every ounce of criticism with merited skepticism.
When you’ve got a crack-a-lackin’ query, go ahead and sign up on Query Tracker. You can not only find literary agents by genre, but can also keep track of who you’ve queried. When I started querying, I used an Excel spreadsheet. DO NOT USE AN EXCEL SPREADSHEET.
If you chuck up the dough, you have access to lists upon lists of agents and publishers who are looking to snatch up your masterwork. I bought THE WRITER’S DIGEST GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS a few years ago, and it organizes agents/publishers/companies the way God organizes goodness in the Bible. The web services may be a bit less overwhelming when starting out. Even if you don’t subscribe, they still have a bunch of great articles and keep you updated on the latest agents.
Here, you will find information on everything in the publishing world. This site is a gold mine of info on everything in the biz, but I find its most hepful feature to be the agent listings. If an agent has an updated profile, you can see what she has sold and the publishers that he has been dealing with. You can pay for membership and sign in for the site’s advanced features, but as a querying author, I got all the information I needed without paying.
The Query Godmother:
If your query needs some TLC or you’re ready to tear your hair out, give Kris Asselin a call. Kris helped me get my query, synopsis, and first few chapters up to snuff for submissions, and she did so at a very reasonable price. Her gentle, magical guidance is well worth the money.
All hail the contest queen! Brenda is the be-all, know-all of Twitter pitch contests, and many authors (including myself) have participated with great success. I’m not even going to attempt to explain the types, dates, and litany of rules here, but Brenda is wonderful about answering questions. Even if you don’t participate, tune in on the playing field to see what sorts of pitches get snatched up.
Mark Dawson’s Self Publishing Formula:
Whether you’re self-publishing or not, I HIGHLY suggest subscribing, studying, and listening to Mark Dawson’s podcast. Each episode will teach you something about the literary world as a business. By writing a book, you’re designing a product for consumers to buy. It behooves you to understand that this is a commercial endeavor and to learn as much as you can about how books are successfully marketed.
Trust me. This is enough for now.