Monday, May 18, 2009

Researching Editors and Agents

As writers, our main goal is to be published. And to do that, you have to get your manuscript in front of an editor. Hopefully, the right editor. But how do you know which editor is the right one for you. You do your research. But how? In this day of Google and the internet, there’s lots of information out there to be had. You just have to know where to look. And look you should, because you don’t want to be wasting your time targeting an editor who’s not interested in what you write. You don't want to pitch an erotic BDSM to an inspirational editor. Trust me, it will give awkward a whole new meaning.

A while back, I spent months focusing on one particular editor because one of her top authors wrote time-travels with humor running throughout the books. I thought, hey, that’s what I write. Maybe Susie Editor will like my stuff too. But when I finally Googled her and found a blog interview a fellow writer had done with her, guess what I found? She doesn’t like time-travels. But how can that be, I thought? One of her bestselling authors writes time-travels (or at least some of them had time-travel in them). I’m guessing a lot of unpublished authors were thinking the same thing I was and that’s all she was seeing come across her desk. Let me tell you, that was a lot of time and effort down the drain on my part.

Now I do my research. I saw a contest coming up that had an editor at St. Martins judging the paranormal category. St. Martins doesn’t take unagented submissions. I Googled the editor and found a blog interview with her in which she specifically states that she “loves humor--if a book makes me laugh, I'm automatically hooked.” Sounded like the editor for me. I entered the contest. I finaled and this editor who loves humor ranked me 1st place and requested the full manuscript. Yeah for me! My research paid off this time.

So where do you start? Google is a powerful tool. Search for the editor’s name (works for agents too). You’ll be amazed at how many hits you’ll get. I often include ‘interview’ or ‘blog’ as one of my search words to narrow down the results. Many times you’ll find an author who’s done a blog interview with them. Read them. The more recent, the better.

Join the editorsagentsandblogsohmy Yahoo loop. There’s always info being posted there on the latest news. You can also search the records to see if there are any blog links regarding a particular editor or agent.

If the editor or agent has their own blog, read it regularly. If they tweet, follow them. If they have a Facebook or MySpace page, friend them.

We often think of editors and agents as these faceless people who hold our fate in their hands. But if you take a little time and do a little research, you’ll discover more about them than just their name.

3 comments:

  1. This was just the perfect post for me to read today. Thank you!

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  2. This is a really good idea. I think I'll try it. Thanks.

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  3. The only problem is, you can spend so much time researching that you never have any time to write! *laugh* There are so many blogs and pages and Twitter feeds and the like.

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