My quest to get published began before every agent had a website and accepted queries by email. I spent years carrying packages to the post office, paying for return postage, then checking the mail every day to see if a rejection letter had arrived yet.
Today’s aspiring novelists don’t even have to leave the house to land an agent. However, the Internet has also increased the competition. More authors than ever are trying to get the attention of an agent and all of them have access to the basic information on agency websites. However, even if agents list their preferences on those websites, they can change on a whim. My agent posted this a couple of months ago:
“I am dying for a new adult cozy mystery serious; historical or funny contemporary!”
If you were following her and just happened to have such a book on your hard drive, the timing would have been perfect to send it right over.
But there’s an art to participating on Twitter. Here are a few things you should do if you’re looking for an agent.
Success on Twitter relies heavily on the people you follow. Find writers who have interests similar to yours and start interacting with them. They’ll likely help you build the community you need on the site. As you start querying, make sure you review each agent’s Twitter feed to see if they’ve expressed an interest in anything in particular lately. Here are a few agents who are always helpful:
- Natalie Lakosil—My agent—she’s the best!
- Janet Reid—This agent has long been helpful to writers. You can also follow her Query Shark account, where she provides tips on writing query letters.
- This list of agents will help you find those who specialize in your genre.
In addition to following agents, you can also use hashtags to join in a conversation. Often the most useful hashtags will be part of events where participating authors get something useful out of it. Here are some hashtags to note:
- #PitMad—A pitch party where participants tweet three short descriptions of three of their books. Polish your pitches—the next #PitMad is September 8!
- #PitchWars—This contest has multiple rounds, with mentors and agents reading manuscripts. The most recent one just took place, but read all about it before the next one!
- #AskAgent—Agents announce that they’re taking questions through the hashtag #AskAgent and Twitter members send them over. Read over past sessions and you’ll likely find some great tips.
- #MSWL—Under this hashtag, agents and editors post their manuscript wishlists. A must follow, for sure!
Most importantly, participate. Have fun. The more you participate in Twitter events and get to know other authors, the more likely you’ll be to get the information you need to achieve your dreams.
When Piper Morgan has to move to a new town, she is sad to leave behind her friends, but excited for a new adventure. She is determined to have fun, be brave and find new friends.
In Piper Morgan Joins the Circus, Piper learns her mom’s new job will be with the Big Top Circus. She can’t wait to learn all about life under the big top, see all the cool animals, and meet the Little Explorers, the other kids who travel with the show. She’s even more excited to learn that she gets to be a part of the Little Explorers and help them end each show with a routine to get the audience on their feet and dancing along!
In Piper Morgan in Charge, Piper’s mom takes a job in the local elementary school principal’s office. Piper is excited for a new school and new friends—and is thrilled when she is made an “office helper.” But there is one girl who seems determined to prove she is a better helper—and she just so happens to be the principal’s daughter. Can Piper figure out how to handle being the new girl in town once more?
Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.
Stephanie is the Simon & Schuster author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive.