1. Your writing community: Ask writers and publishing people.
2. The Web: Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, other social media, Google, agents’ websites, databases such as publishersmarketplace.com, agentresearch.com, firstwriter.com, authorlink.com, predatorsandeditors.com, and agentquery.com, which lists 2,000 agents.
3. The Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR): The 450 agents in AAR are the best source of experienced, reputable agents. Members are required to follow the AAR’s code of ethics. The directories talked about in number six indicate when an agent is a member, aaronline.org.
4. Writers’ organizations: They’re listed online and in Literary Market Place in your library.
5. Literary events: Writing classes, readings, lectures, seminars, book signings, conferences, and book festivals are opportunities to meet and learn about agents.
6. Directories: Jeff Herman’s Insider’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, and Literary Agents; Guide to Literary Agents; Literary Marketplace (LMP). Directories vary in the kind and amount of information they provide, so check what different directories include about the same agency.
7. Magazines: Publishers Weekly, The Writer, Writer’s Digest, and Poets & Writers have articles by and about agents. If you don’t want to splurge on a subscription to Publishers Weekly, read it at the library. There’s a free weekday condensation of it available at www.publishersweekly.com.
8. Books: Check the dedication and acknowledgment pages of books like yours.
9. Your platform: Let agents find you—be visible online and off, get published, give talks, publicize your work and yourself. When you’re visible enough, agents will find you.
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