Yesterday I talked about Query Tracker. Today is the other part of the coin for my internet agent searches, Absolute Write. For you non-writers, Absolute Write is a great forum where authors can get together to talk about everything from agents to publishers, Query Letter Hell to ideas for new books. And just about anything else you can think of.
Unlike Query Tracker which is set up primarily to keep track of where your queries are going, Absolute Write is much more. Curious about a certain agent? If they are any good? Head over to Absolute Write. Someone is sure to know about the agent or even be their client. Wondering if that contest you want to enter is legit? Someone at Absolute Write is sure to know.
Want to hit that query letter out of the park? (Or realize the query letter sucks?) Head on over to Absolute Write’s Query Letter Hell. There you will find plenty of people more than willing to destroy your query letter for you. It will help you when you write your next query letter.
There are other forums there to go hang out in, and even a place where you can find a mentor or beta reader. Oh, and did I mention it is free? Totally free?
Absolute Write is my first stop when it comes to researching an agent. Clients will tell you exactly what their agent is like. For me, it’s like talking to someone’s ex. (Though these aren’t the agent’s ex, but they are still pretty truthful on the forum.) You can get a sense of an agent’s personality.
Is the agent one that holds the hand of their authors and wants to be involved in every aspect of the writing; from idea to polished product? Does the agent bug you about your next project? Does the agent wait for you to email them with a new idea? Does the agent keep you up-to-date about the manuscript they are shopping to publishers? And does the agent ask to see a lot of partials, only to reject them? (Nice to know so you don’t get your hopes up.)
Oh, and is the agent legit? Every writer knows of agents who aren’t legit. Some are con artists. A lot aren’t con artists, and aren’t even bad people. It’s just that you have to have a certain skill set to be an agent. Most agents learn this from being interns and assistants to agents. Some people think “I can do that without the contacts and the training.” For me, that is like a “doctor” saying “Well, I didn’t get out of college, but I can perform this brain surgery.” That’s not the agent for me.
Head over to Absolute Write if you are a writer at any stage of their career. Trust me, you’ll find resources you need.