Free Resources for Pitching to Agents and Publishers

Written by A Guest Author

By Stefanie August

Since the advent of Internet technology that allows us to research agents and publishers to pitch our work to, there have been tools writers can use. I will address how to use free resources for doing just that, in the competitive world of writing!

As an independent author of various genres I have found several sources that are up to date and get you fairly fast responses.

Query Tracker, located at www.querytracker.net, is a site that lists agents and publishers along with the genre they are seeking and submission guidelines. With thousands of listings one can spend a good 6 months pitching their work without paying for this service, which if you choose to do so, costs a mere $25 per year. The site is setup as a “tracking board” wherein you can create a list of potential agents or publishers to pitch, seek out those who are specific to the genre you are writing in, filter out those who might be in your genre, yet do not accept your theme of writing, and gives you email options for sending your work directly as a query once you have read submission guidelines pertinent to whom you are pitching. In most instances one can submit unsolicited material, so long as you follow submission guidelines.

What is unique about this service is that it allows you to keep track of who you have pitched, who is not applicable, and what your response is from whomever you are pitching.  I received responses from agents and publishers in less than one month, two of whom got back to me in less than a week. Another excellent feature of Query Tracker is that you can do your research by going to the agent’s or publisher’s website to see what they are interested in reviewing BEFORE you pitch. Even if they are listed in the genre you are writing in DO take the time to review sites to ensure you are pitching to an appropriate party. Maneuverability on this site is fairly easy once you understand how to use the resources available in it and how the site is laid out.

A second terrific free resource is Writer’s Digest, at www.WritersDigest.com, which offers listings of agents seeking new authors in many genres. As with any online publication, one must cull through the list of agents to see if they are accepting your genre of writing, go to the agent’s website, research other writers they represent, review the submission guidelines, and pitch from there. 

The Writer’s Digest format for showcasing agents seeking new work allows you to gain an idea of the person you are pitching to, what they like as far as reading materials are concerned, and what they are not seeking. You also have leads to their website wherein you will have to locate the agent’s direct email and review submission guidelines.

A third resource is Manuscript Wish List (MSWL) found at www.manuscriptwishlist.com.  This site allows for personal engagement with agents and editors through their profile. The agent/editor profile is also linked to their Twitter accounts. When an agent tweets out a desired topic or genre they are seeking, MSLW automatically links to their profile. The site is easy to navigate and chock full of agent and editor leads where you can search by genre, name, or keyword. The site also features podcasts and does allow authors to subscribe for updates when the list is refreshed.

To end, I recommend that you follow these key pointers when contacting an agent or publisher through one of these or any other resource:

  • Be authentic in your pitch and showcase your best work
  • Do follow submission guidelines as they are a way for the publisher or agent to evaluate your ability to understand what they are seeking
  • Ensure your work is free of typos and grammatical errors. It is crucial that you appear professional from your query to the manuscript or synopsis you submit.
  • Find a commonality between your work and the work the agent or publisher is seeking.
  • Research thoroughly before submitting so you don’t spin your wheels or waste anyone’s time.

I trust this short list nets each of you excellent opportunity and I wish continued success in your writing endeavors.

Happy pitching!


Stefanie August runs www.saugustcreative.com, a consulting and writing service for authors, academics and businesses.

 

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