Though in some ways it is a more daunting task than writing a manuscript. Searching for a literary agent for Fantastic America is new for me. I’ve queried (and gotten plenty of rejections) for other short story projects. Querying for a literary agent is much more involved than submitting a story to a magazine editor, but the principles are similar.
At times, the sheer amount of information can be overwhelming. There are thousands of agents, at hundreds of literary agencies. Narrowing down my search to an agent that is looking for books in the genre I write, who are open to queries is a challenge. A challenge I repeat over and over to get a good number of submissions going at once.
Once I’ve found an agent that might be a good fit, learning more about them takes a bit more research. What do they like, what don’t they like, and is my story something they could believe in? Following their submission guidelines is fairly straight forward. Waiting is not easy. Having more work to do while I wait is essential to my sanity.
So I’m a bit frazzled right now. Tracking submissions on my excel spreadsheet helps me stay on task. Of course the point of the spreadsheet is to remember on the page what my memory might not recall without it. Have sent anything to this agent before, did I hear back, has it been long enough to query anyone else at that agency? All of this and more, is part of how I manage my queries. Without a tracking sheet, I’d be lost.