Thursday, April 20, 2006

Ask the Author: How do I find an Agent?

One of the most frequent questions I receive as an author is where to find the all-elusive agent. There are a slew of books and articles that will tell you all sorts of things, but I'll share my best advice in a nutshell.

Go to a writers' conference where they host agents and editors and get thyself an appointment.

I met my agent, the fabulous Marcy Posner of Sterling Lord Literistic, at the Texas Writers' League Agents' Conference. She wasn't even my scheduled agent appointment, but I happened to hear her speak on a panel and I liked what she had to say. When we chatted in the hall afterward, I pitched her POTTER SPRINGS. Then, I heard those magical four words, "Send it to me."

Actually, I had several agents request my manuscript that weekend, but I ended up going with Marcy because I thought we'd work the best together. I like Marcy because she's smart, tough, and honest. Plus she's a total advocate for my writing, which is essential in a great agent. The fact she knows just about everyone in the biz doesn't hurt things either.

As a board member for the Texas Writers' League, I'm headed back to Austin this year for that same conference, and they've already booked an impressive roster of agents. Check it out here.

Where to find a conference in your area? Try Google, look in the back of writers' magazines, ask local writing groups. Make sure you have a finished product before you pitch, but even if your work is still in progress, conferences can be a great way to learn and start networking.

In fact, if you're in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, there's a great conference this weekend hosted by the Trinity Writers' Workshop. They're flying in agents and editors, as well as pubbed authors to help shed a little light on this crazy business.

I'll be there (insert shameless plug here), teaching a workshop called "The Art of Rewriting: From Brain Storm to Book Deal." Check it out, drop by and say howdy.


Blogger Desperate Writer said...

It helps to have a great book like yours, too! :)

6:29 PM  
Blogger Britta Coleman said...

That's so kind! Thanks for the encouragement, and right back atcha!

6:53 AM  

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