I can’t honestly claim to be any sort of expert on writing, getting an agent, or getting published. I write because I enjoy it, and my mommy told me I was good. Well…other people have too, but you get the point. I’m personally still trying to snag my own agent so I can’t tell anyone what works. And obviously I’ve yet to be published so that’s just a pipe dream at the moment. I have, however, found some really nifty resources that I’d like to share.
- Writing With Uncle Jim – This is an enormous forum thread started by author Jim MacDonald. It’s full of basics, insider info, and as it progresses it starts to pick up some other authors who provide additional information and occasionally argue with Jim.
- Writer Beware@SFWA – Although the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) site and forums are chock full of great info in general, the Writer Beware section is especially useful for keeping up to date on the seedy side of the publishing industry.
- Preditors & Editors – A comprehensive, though maddening to navigate, site with additional warnings as well as a list of legit resources.
- Query Shark – This blog by agent Janet Reid allows people, free of charge, to submit their agent queries to be critiqued. Although she doesn’t provide feedback on everything submitted, going through the backlog is almost as enlightening.
- Miss Snark – A now defunct, but archived, blog that is rumored to have been run by Janet Reid under the pseudonym Miss Snark. It doesn’t deal specifically with queries as her current one does, but instead covers the breadth and width of what an agent’s point of view of the industry is and what they expect from authors.
- QueryTracker – Once you’ve finished your project, read up on who to query, and polished that query letter until it’s a blinding gleam of awesome it’s time to actually start sending out those queries. QueryTracker is a pretty comprehensive list of agents and has a tracking system that lets you keep tabs on who and when you’ve queried, who you’ve sent samples and manuscripts to, and who’s rejected you (it’s gonna happen…a lot). It also has integrated links to an agent’s Publishers Marketplace and the Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR) page.
- Publishers Marketplace – Since I mentioned it, I should explain. This site is another listing of agents, only most of the agent pages are maintained by the agents or agency themselves. They usually include what they’re looking for, some of their recent sales, and other useful info.
- AAR – The Association of Authors’ Representatives is the governing body for agents. Quite simply, if they’re an AAR member then they are bona fide agents. However, there are some agents, especially new agents, that aren’t AAR members, or at least aren’t yet vetted by the association. It’s still a good resource.
While this is nowhere near comprehensive, as a quick search for any aspect of writing will show, these are tools that I have used and learned by. None of them are the end-all catch to getting published, but I think I’m a far more informed author because of them.