Agent Research


I have half an hour left before the end of the work day and work is slow, so I’m trying to keep myself occupied so that I don’t start to ruminate and get myself into a gloom loop. I’m asks fighting off a killer headache pressing down on my sinuses so hard it’s making my teeth ache. Ibuprofen has done nothing, so I suspect it is being caused by some change in the weather.

I kept my mind occupied for most of the day by reading up on listings on the Manuscript Wish List: a site where agents can post what kind of projects that they’re looking for and writers can read up and decide if their work fits the bill. Mostly, I’ve learned these things:

Women outnumber men handily in the agenting game. At least on MSWL.

Everybody wants female protagonists and diverse voices.

Rock Opera isn’t a literary genre.

I’m definitely going to need to find someone with a sense of humor and an impulse for subversiveness.

It’s a little bit funny to me because in some ways my novel should have a lot of commercial appeal: rockstars behaving badly, dysfunctional family drama, chaos, rock and roll, etc., but in other ways it’s definitely going against the (apparent) trends: diverse voices, female protagonists, LGTBQIA, empowerment, etc. Not a whole lot of call for a straight, white, male protagonist dealing with issues of toxic masculinity. Which is not to say there’s no market for it, only that I do find myself trying to read between the lines of each profile trying to determine whether the individual I’m reading about is more likely to engage with my Strong Character Voice or be turned off by the bad language and poor taste. More research is required, but at least now I’m starting to form a short list.

To a certain extent I’m sure it will just be a matter of trial and error. Or, if querying is anything like job hunting, it will be a matter of getting to know someone who knows someone and can put in a good word for me. Someone who can say “don’t be fooled by her lurid content, she’s actually quite professional and down to earth,” or, vice versa, “don’t be fooled by her mild mannered appearance, her work is actually quite spicy” etc.

At any rate, it’s a journey and I’m just getting started, but at least now I feel like I have a vague travel plan at least.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on August 12, 2019.

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