Ever get lost in your Web searches for information? Everyone does. Be inspired by AgentQuery.com and their following list for serious writers:
"We've done your homework for you: here are some of the best, most useful websites out there for writers. When it comes to helping writers find a literary agent, chatting with other like-minded authors, or researching industry leads and alternative publishing paths, these are some of the first-class writing and publishing websites.
"Also be sure to check out our official AQ "KNOW THY GENRE" Writers Website Cheat Sheet in which we list the top websites for fiction genres like literary fiction, children's/midde grade/young adult, science fiction & fantasy, romance, thrillers & suspense, mystery and crime, and historical fiction. "
The Association of Authors’ Representatives
The AAR was formed in 1991 through the merger of the Society of Authors' Representatives (founded in 1928) and the Independent Literary Agents Association (founded in 1977). To qualify for membership in the AAR, an agent must meet professional standards specified in AAR's bylaws and agree to subscribe to its Canon of Ethics. However, AAR cannot regulate the commissions, fees, services, or other competitive business practices of its members.
Their website and searchable agent member database has recently been updated. Based on our current intelligence, it seems like AAR has stepped up to the plate and made an effort to keep their database regularly maintained and accurate. And although we consider every agent in our AQ database legitimate, not every agent in our AQ database is a member of AAR. In our opinion, AAR membership is not a black & white litmus test for good versus bad. It simply offers one source for verifying potential credibility. For more info. on what exactly it means for a literary agent to be an AAR member, check out our official AQ Guide to AAR Membership.
Preditors and Editors
P & E’s website keeps an ongoing list of literary agents, reputable and non-reputable, for all writers to browse and compare notes. And although this website doesn’t maintain current addresses of agents or always list the most accurate information regarding which agent is affiliated with which agency (literary agents are peripatetic; they change agencies, start their own agencies, then close shop and move to bigger agencies more times in a year than J-Lo gets married), it does serve as a great source for ferreting out the scammers.
Bottom line: if you’re interested in an agent who you don’t find in our AQ database, we recommend that you cross-reference the agent’s name with Preditors and Editors’ list. If you find the agent’s name on P & E with a “Not Recommended” rating, then you’ll immediately know why she’s not in our AQ database. Read our Beware of Scammers page, and stay away from Ms. Questionable Agent—far, far away.
Publishers Marketplace is one of the most trusted industry-insider resources and offers a wealth of information for a month-to-month subscription fee of $20. This subscription includes search privileges to view their "recent sales" agent database. PM also offers Publishers Lunch, a free daily e-zine that recaps the book sales made to the major & indie publishers. For example, Publishers Lunch tells you that Mr. Agents sold the book Lovely Secrets by Sho-shana Friedricks, about a twenty-something girl with leukemia who refuses to tell her fiancé she’s dying, to Ms. Editor at Simon & Schuster. Keep in mind, however, that Publishers Lunch only reports the news that agents and editors feed them, and not every agent on the planet feels compelled to report their sales to Publishers Lunch. And by the way, our AQ database only lists a "snapshot" of an agent's sales history, especially highlighting the titles that can be reviewed on Amazon. We let Publishers Marketplace take care of databasing all the agents' deals for us.
Similar to Predators & Editors, Writer Beware’s goal is to provide writers with current information about known scammers in the literary agent world. They often put out an A.P.B regarding specific names and organizations to avoid at all cost. They also thoroughly outline how to tell a reputable literary agent from a questionable one, and maintain a blog to educate writers about the detrimental scamming practices of fee-charging “rogue” agents who prey on the vulnerable, desperate sensibilities of wannabe authors. You can also email Writer Beware to ask specifically about an agent or publisher, and they'll check the agent or publisher against their extensive database. If Writer Beware shouts, "Stay away!" we recommend that you sprint in the other direction of that questionable agent or publisher.
|GENERAL WRITING & PUBLISHING RESOURCES|
Poets & Writers Magazine
Poets & Writers offers informative articles, publishing news, special features, and important deadlines for literary contests, conferences, residencies, awards, and grants. It’s the best online and in-print guidance magazine for aspiring writers—and they’re not paying us to say that. A subscription to this magazine will keep you informed and in-the-loop, and we also recommend checking out their Tools for Writers. It’s a treasure trove of links and mini-databases related to writing contests, indie presses, grants, residencies, writing organizations, literary agents, and more.
Writer's Digest offers both a website and monthly print magazine that provides topical "digestible" information of interest to mainstream writers. Their articles are generally geared towards the beginning to intermediate level writer, and often focus on the mechanics of good writing and selling one's self as a writer. If you're new to all of this, reading Writer's Digest is a great way to slowly immerse yourself into the world of publishing and its complex facets. If you're looking for an agent, we purusing their blog, Guide to Literary Agents. Writer's Digest also sponsors their annual 101 Best Web Sites for Writers. And you know it, baby, AQ made the 2010 short list. Sixth year in a row!
This site offers solid nuts-and-bots advice to all writers of all genres. Fresh articles and columns are posted weekly, and there's simply a mind-boggling amount of how-to advice for the beginning writer, including A Step-by-Step Guide to Launching Your Writing Career and How to Write a Successful Query Letter as well as How to Find Markets for your writing, and Aspects of the Writing Life (like rejection and writer's block). And that's just for the newbies. And perhaps most helpful to emerging writers is their Rights & Contracts page, packed with information regarding publishing rights, copyrights, contracts & payment issues, piracy, plagiarism and scams.
|WRITING & PUBLISHING ONLINE COMMUNITIES|
AQ Connect is our online social networking community. It's a great place to poke around for the most current information regarding how to get an agent, agent submissions, as well as the state of the current pubishing industry. We offer a dedicated group just for Query Critiques and Synopsis Critiques as well as a Guppie Pond for all you newbies who have a question, but feel timid about publicly posting it. Whether you want to just lurk and learn, or become an active participating member, AQ Connect is fresh, informative, and free resource to educate yourself on all the aspects of professional publishing.
AbsoluteWrite has a huge, loyal fan base that is dominated by newbie writers and established authors who critique, gossip, and educate each other about the realities and pitfalls of the publishing industry. Their Beware and Background Check forum is moderated by several watchdogs who tirelessly work to educate newbie writers who fall prey to the most common of the agency and publishing scams. If you can get past the newbie scam paranoia that is prevalent on this board, you'll glean some valuable tips and writing opportunities from the more regular posters.
Figment is a community where you can share your writing, connect with other readers, and discover new stories and authors. Whatever you're into, from sonnets to mysteries, from sci-fi stories to cell phone novels, you can find it all here. Figment Fiction is quickly becoming one of the top new literary social networking sites, and over a dozen publishers, including Random House, Macmillan, Penguin, Hachette and Perseus are already paying to market their books and authors on the site. Future plans for the site include a marketplace where authors—both professional and amateur—and book publishers can sell their works.