How Do I Choose a Good Agent to Approach at the Conference?

We get asked this question a lot.  “Who do I pick to pitch my book to?” “Which agent is the best one to represent me?” “How do I know!?”

First of all, chill.  This isn’t a one-time deal where you pick the wrong person and the entire publishing industry shuts the door in your face. You’ll have a chance to meet and talk to many agents and editors while at the conference*.

You do need to do your due diligence. In my four years working on the conference I can’t tell you how many people have walked out of the pitch room shaking their heads saying, “They don’t represent what I write.” Make sure you know what the agent represents before you pitch!

Now, you can only go on the information you have at hand. Luckily the entire freaking world is at your fingertips.

You’ll need to pursue our sweet list of agents and editors first. We are still lining them up, so check back often.  (After you’ve registered, you’ll be contacted closer to the conference, in order of registration, with instructions on how to request a pitch session and indicate your preference of agent.)

There’s a link to each agent’s bio page and on what they represent. You should not only read for what they represent, but get a feel for the agent’s personality.

Once you have a few in mind, search their names online and see if they’ve written any articles or anyone has written any about them. I find this to be the toughest area to get info, simply because there aren’t a lot of items out there that agents have written, unless they have a blog.

Also, check out Query Tracker and Agent Query. Both offer information about agents, and there are comment sections from actual writers who have queried those agents.

And lastly, tool around the agent’s web site. Sometimes you’ll find nuggets there too.

After all that, you should have a great idea on who you want to pitch your book to, in order of preference.

~Jason

*Make sure you have a finished manuscript before pitching your book to anyone. If you say it ain’t done, you ain’t going to get anyone to look at it. And don’t lie.



Categories: Agents, Conference tips

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