Friday, April 23, 2010
T is for Targeting the Right People
I was talking with another writer the other day and she told me she'd just finished sending out her last batch of queries and proposals to agents. Baffled, I asked her how many went in a 'batch' and she said the ones that made up the last seven letters of the alphabet in her guide. Surprised, I asked her if she'd done any "T" is for Targeting before doing all of that work. The resounding chorus of crickets gave me my answser.
Targeting is simply researching the market and finding out who represents your genre. It amazes me that many writers in my group do not do this. They take the shotgun approach to queries and this results in much more work. This is true for both seeking agent representation, and polishing your proposal for submission to publishers.
One of the best ways to find out if an agent even represents your type of book is to go on their website. An agency may have several agents representing many different types of books. Some agents take only non-fiction, or historical romance, and it makes no sense to query them.
Tip Sheets are a great way to take the pulse of the publishing houses out there. They list editorial needs, including information on the types of books they'd like to see, including word length for a certain genre. You can pick them up at conferences, online, or with a SASE to the publishing house.
Leigh Michaels has a wonderful collection of romance publisher websites for easy perusal. Whatever your task, securing representation or pitching a book, it pays to not waste time and money. Take some time to target the right people, the ones that are looking for a writer like you. Until next time...Go Write!
Photograph by cliff1066, Uploaded on December 25, 2008.