It’s always a good idea to begin your research as early as you can, because A LOT is still not enough. When you round up your data, make sure you check out every website, twitter, or other networking site an agency might have.
To jump-start your research, here are all the resources I’ve compiled over the process of my own querying journeys (also, these sites are free, and a few of them have donation pages or additional services if you do find them helpful):
- Agent Query – is a great website with a database of agents. AQ also has additional resources like how to submit to a literary agent and how to write a query.
- Query Tracker – is updated quickly, especially when agents close to submissions for periods of time. QT has individual message boards for each agent page so writers who are querying can see approximate and recent response times that other writers are getting. Additionally, agent pages also have graphs and lists of clients and other useful things.
- Absolute Write – is a forum for writers that has a whole branch for members to discuss agents, response times, goings-on, so on and so forth. Other helpful threads include workshopping chapters and queries – which, if you’re fairly new to querying, is highly recommended.
- Literary Rambles – is a blog run by Casey McCormick and Natalie Aguirre, and they post really sweet, in-depth profiles and blurbs from interviews of literary agents in the YA (young adult), MG (middle grade), PB (picture books) and CB (chapter book) realms.
- Writer Beware – is sponsored by the SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America) with support from the MWA (Mystery Writers of America). They update with publishing scams and schemes and traps with advice on how to spot and avoid them. They also have a blog and a facebook page.
- What to do when you’ve finished your manuscript – is advice I put together to help writers to prepare their manuscripts and submission needs. Many writers begin querying before they’re ready.
- Avoiding publishing scams – another quick tidbit of advice on steeling oneself against the temptation of “too good to be true” offers. The aforementioned sites are linked here as well.