If you are a self-published author with aspirations to get a traditional publishing deal it is important to have an agent. Major publishers and their imprints normally do not accept unsolicited manuscripts and an agent can assist with getting your book into the right hands. Researching literary agents is complicated enough without having to worry about whether or not the agent is reputable. Unfortunately, you do have to worry. Too many agents engage in abuses–charging upfront fees, participating in kickback referral schemes, urging writers to pay for expensive adjunct services, even steering clients into the clutches of vanity publishers. There is one service that indie authors are raving about, its called QueryTracker.
Query Tracker allows you browse a database with over 25,000 agents who are actively seeking submissions. You can initiate a plethora of filters in order to isolate specific agents who are interested in your particular genre. This is important because agents tend to specialize in specific fields of publishing, such as paranormal romance or erotica.
Here is a list of features that Query Tracker Provides
- Searchable agent database
- Maintain a record of which agents you’ve already queried and when
- Maintain a record of all agent responses
- Mark agents you don’t like and filter them out of your searches
- Write and print your query letters direct from the site.
- With one click, automatically fill out envelopes and print right from the site.
- See statistics for each agent detailing how many queries have been sent to them and what their responses were.
- View the query letters of other writers (if the author makes it public) and sort them on a per-agent basis so you can see just what that agent likes or dislikes in a query.
- This service is free, or you can subscribe yearly fee of $25
Remember, in order to entice agents on Query Tracker you want to develop a query letter. Often a query is all an agent wants to see initially, so the query may be your one chance to snag the agent’s attention. You need to provide a dynamic and intriguing snapshot of your work, via a dramatic one- or two-paragraph synopsis.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.