Updated: Apr 5, 2021
Before we get started I would like to give a disclaimer.
*THIS POST IS FOR FUN*
Now that that is out of the way, let me explain. In this post I will be sharing with you some of the stuff that will be required of you while searching for a literary agent. It will not be a rant about how hard it is to get the attention of them or of how they are stuck up snobby gate keepers. That may be how you feel about them, but this is a fun post and not a rant. It does, however, cover things you will need to do if you want to attract one. So lets get on with it.
So you have decided to hunt one of the literary worlds most evasive animals: the agent. Well as a renowned agent hunter who has more than a few of their heads hanging on my living room walls, I am here to help prepare you for what's ahead. What I teach you here could save your life, so pay close attention and take notes.
First, you will need to decide which one you want to try and bag. Every agent is different and finding the one that is right for you is the first hurdle. I like to check out the trophies of people who I admire. They could be friends or other hunters you admire. Check out what they are hunting and try going after them first. In particularly, if said friends or fellow colleagues have the same tastes as you. Most likely if you share similar interests or use the same types of weapons, you will be good at hunting the same game.
Now that you have decided on your prey, it is time to learn everything you can about them. I suggest stalking them in the great jungle called social media. Finding out who they associate with and what they like, is a great way to form tactics on how to get their attention. Pay close attention to what they eat and exactly how they like things. This will assure that you don't make the mistake of presenting them with bait that is unappealing. Using the wrong bait is a rookie mistake that will get you shot down before you even start.
Now that you have a plan and are sure you have the right kind of bait, is time for one of the hardest things you will need to do as an agent hunter; write the dreaded synopsis. I still cringe when ever I even think about mine, but there is nothing that can be done about it. You will need to do it, and for some, it will be even harder then writing your book. Every agent, however, will only give your bait attention if it is first proceeded by an synopsis, so get it done and get it done well.
Next, accompanying the synopsis you will have to have a query letter. No matter how experienced you are with this, it is impossible to have a coherent and perfect strategy here. I once interviewed an agent who was raised in captivity and they said,
"It needs to be so unique that it catches my attention, but also be exactly like every one else I read. If not I won't even give it the time of day."
Yes folks, agents are kind of insane. They constantly contradict themselves and change what they are looking for, so adaption is key. There really is no telling what will actually get their attention, so just do your best here. Agents are, generally kind of prideful, and you have to prove to them that your bait is worth their time, and the query letter and synopsis is the only tool you have in your arsenal to do this. Unless of course you know someone that has already caught them, but that is rare.
So, now that I have given you a good foundation, go out and bag yourself an agent today. What are you waiting for? it only took me around a year to get my first one, so if you get started now, you can have one by Saint Patty's day next year! Of course I stalked around 100 before I even got close to one, so be prepared for that. If you just follow these four steps and you are sure to bag one. Unless of course, you are a white male conservative Christian, then the hunting grounds for agents looking for you are smaller and harder to find, but that is a topic for a different post.
I hope you enjoyed this and got a laugh out of it. My own experience hunting for an agent was very short, but I would love to hear your stories both good and bad about your experiences searching for and finding an agent.