The Literary Agent Directory

June 08, 2013

If you plan to traditionally publish those newly-organized novels of yours (see here), you'll need to find a good literary agent who will work with you to make your novel sellable, pitch your manuscript to publishing houses, and negotiate contracts on your behalf.

The first step to finding an agent is to get online and search for literary agents in your genre. Many sites have already compiled lists of genre-appropriate agents who are currently accepting submissions. Although agents generally want a query letter, synopsis, and X chapters/pages of your (completed!) manuscript, their specific submission guidelines will differ. Not every agent who accepts novels in your genre will be a good match for your manuscript, so be sure to read through each agent's lists of likes and dislikes to get a better sense of their literary "wishlist."

So how in the hell am I supposed to keep track of these potential agents? 

Two words, my friend: Agent Database.

To create an Agent Database, create a folder titled "Agents." Give it a snazzy icon. Within the "Agents" folder, create individual folders for the genres you typically write. 

Creating an Agent Listing
1. Visit the agent's webpage.
2. Drag their photo to your desktop. 
3. Highlight the web address. Drag to your desktop.
4. Open the image. Press command + a to select the entire image and command + c to copy.
5. Select the link's icon. Press command + i to open the information panel. 
6. Click the Safari icon in the information panel.
7. Press command + v.
8. Click once on the file name to edit. Press command + a to select all text. Delete. Type agent's name.
9. Move your newly-created Agent Listing to the appropriate genre folder.

As you can see, I use a color-coding system for my potential agents. Yellow indicates that the agent appears to be a really strong match for my manuscript, while orange indicates a slightly better-than-moderate match. You could potentially use the color-coding system to differentiate between manuscripts if you have multiple books in the same genre. If you are in the process of querying, I would suggest assigning an additional color to agents whom you have already queried to avoid repeat submissions. Do note that any color-coding scheme you elect to use will not show up if you open your Agent Directory from the sidebar (as seen in the video above). 

What is your current method for organizing prospective agents? Did my method help you? Let me know!


  1. So glad that I am visiting your blog. I dream of having a novel published some day.

    Jessica @


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