Thursday, September 2, 2010

Making My List & Checking It Once, Twice...Er...Sixteen Times

This, dear readers, is where I admit to a shameful affliction I have suffered from for longer than I care to admit...a genetic disorder I inherited from my mother (of all people). Yes, fabulous followers. It is true. You do turn into your mother eventually.

No, this is not where I state the obvious and rant about the dangerously obsessive compulsion I have to purchase books at an alarming rate, regardless of how in the red my bank account might be. Who needs to buy food when you can have books? That's not a sickness. It's what I like to call having your priorities in order;)

My sickness is that I am a compulsive list-maker. Gasp!! I know. Horrifying, isn't it? I am that person we all cringe when being confronted with...the one who has a list for EVERYTHING...and is always checking and double-checking it just to make sure it is as up-to-date as humanly possible. Yes, friends, I am that girl. **hangs head in shame**

So, is it any surprise to you that when I began the long, arduous task of riding the Query Train, that the very first thing I did was create a list? Shocking, I know!

Here's how my list-making broke down:

  1. I went through my ENTIRE library (if this is your first time here, you should know that I being the book hoarder I am have many, many, MANY of the wonderful things in my possession....and I'm not sorry for that!) and pulled out not only my favorite novels, but ones that I believed to be of the same ilk as my little old story.

  2. Then, I made a list of these authors' publishers, editors, agents, and Uncle JimBob/Auntie Em who helped make their books into a reality. Of course, all this information was needed in order to Cyber stalk said publishers, editors, agents, close family relatives...etc

  3. After my stalking had commenced (this is where I confess that I am still cyber stalking agents...even ones I never plan on querying, just because they are so stalkable) I re-shuffled my list...pushing those that made me laugh, made me cry, made me think...all in all made me want to be on their client rosters...up to the top and shifting others down

  4. Of course, this wasn't just a popularity contest. I had to make sure that in the event that I was able to catch any of them I'd not just have a drinking buddy but a snowball's shot in Hell of my work ever seeing the light of publishing day...

  5. So, the inevitable next step was to actually look and see how my would-be drinking buddies got along outside of the tiki hut.

  6. Another movement of the list as bar stools were shoved aside and real, honest-to-goodness qualifications were IMPORTANT things like "does this agent like dogs? or Chinese food? does he/she have the gift of being able to piece together my at-time barely coherent late-night emails?....oh and can he/she sell the shiznit out of my stuff?"

  7. And after all was said and done, I made my list...and QUERIED

I can hear you all asking that ever elusive question, "Of everyone on your hit list, who is your dream agent?" Yes, we've all heard the term...But, I'll let you in on another little secret.

I don't have one...Yet.

For me, my dream agent is the one that when he/she calls me up to "discuss possible representation", he/she will be so over-the-top excited about working with me, so infatuated with my writing, that it practically oozes through the phone lines and splatters all over my very sensible $9 pair of Wal-Mart shoes...and then of course, once the contracts are signed, sends me 300 pages worth of notes and suggestions under the guise of being a helpful editorial letter which basically tells me "This is good. Now, let's make it better." Yes, friends, that is my DREAM AGENT.

That being said, my list is still ever-present and I do happen to have a top five list (well, I have a top five list for everything...songs, movies, books...etc). And, if any of you peeps know me even the tiniest bit, you probably know who those five well as the ones that didn't make my query list but that I still Twitter/blog stalk simply because they are so awesome!

How about all of you fine friends? Is your querying process as OCD as mine? And, do you have a "dream agent"? Or have you already found your literary brain twin(...ahem, I meant to say agent there)? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!


  1. Yes but these are all very sensible things to do when searching for an agent! You've done it exactly right...and your criteria of what a dream agent is is PERFECT.

    My process isn't quite as um, thorough as that. But it does involve lists and searching and cross referencing and more searching. I can honestly say that no agent I query is unresearched by me.

  2. I like making lists too, but I suck at checking them, so it's all useless at the end. I do have a top five list of agents I'd like to be represented by, though. I'm hoping to query by the end of this year.

    I hope you do get that dream agent of yours real soon, and I think you're going about it in a great way. Definitely better to have information you're not going to use than not have enough information.

  3. Mannnnn I wish I was as organised as you :( My querying process is sloppy, at best. I kind of just pick agents out at random, stalk them from afar, then pluck up the courage to query them one at a time. Snoooore.

    That being said, I haven't started querying for my NEW project yet, so maybe now's a good time to be as uber organised as you?

  4. Sierra: Even if I do have a few OCD tendencies, I'm glad to hear that someone (besides me) thinks I'm sensible:)

    Graystone: And, I hope you get your dream agent! Keep us all posted when you start querying so we can cheer you on!

    Caitlin: If you're asking me whether or not to be as excessively as me, of course, I'm going to say HELL to the YEAH! But, we crazies (I'm talking about myself here) like to think of it as being well-prepared ;)

  5. LOL! You are very thorough. Keep it up, and you'll have your dream agent in no time. :)

  6. Wonderful process! Why do things the old fashioned way when you can be creative!

  7. Linda: Thanks! I do try :)

    Angie: Well said! I try to re-invent my process every time. Makes it more fun that way ;)

  8. I am not quite so methodical, but I was pretty thorough in my stalkerage. I had about 6 agents at the top of my list that I thought would be perfect matches--alas, it was not mutual. And the other 47 nearly-perfect-matches gave me no love either.


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