Creative and Memoir Writing  

          Carol Brennan King May 17, 2023

Greetings Writers! Are you feeling great because of all that you accomplished last week?

I ask that because every week I have to write, send to my coach, and post over my desk what my writing-related goals are for the week. Then, at the end of the week, I have to send another post about how well I did in meeting my goals.

I admit it. I work more faithfully with accountability. In fact, this post was on my list of goals for the week. And honestly, if it wasn’t there, I might not be here.

If you don’t do the goal thing now, you can start today. It helps. Sometimes, you might miss the goal you set, but discover something else that is a bigger win. I have more than once.

One class I took recently suggested that unless you have a list of fifty – 50 potential agents, you should not start sending out your work or your query at all. So much for my finding another two agents to query this week.

Talk about discouragement. I was there, in the dumps. However, the more I thought about it, the more I understood how helpful that list might be.

When I started my search for potential agents, I was proud of myself. I knew the writer must know their genre and target audience before they can promote their work. My book belongs in the historical fiction genre with a thread of the love story between the two main characters and how that influenced all that happened.

Second, I understood, or think I understand, my readership: probably women, and in general mature women. However, anyone interested in how their family got to this country, especially from Ireland might want to understand how their family got here from Ireland.

Did you know that 36 million Americans or 12% of the US population identify as Irish Americans? A decent market!

Those ships that carried the Irish looking for a better and safer life also carried Germans, English, French, and, well, people from all over Europe chasing hope. It was not just the Irish alone who are searching for how their families got here during the mid-1800’s. And their families, descendents, might be interested in what that journey from Europe to the US looked, felt, and smelled like.

But let’s move on. Or back to that 50 agents list.

The point is, I don’t know of anyone whose book got purchased by the first agent they sent it to. So why don’t you make up a list of potential agents, and when that first “Sorry, we can’t use your manuscript just now” letter arrives, you will be ready.

As my coach said, think of sending your book out, your “pitch,” the way you might think about brushing your teeth. It’s not great fun, but the yields, perhaps slow in coming, will change your life.

I just googled historical fiction agents. There’s a pile of them out there. In fact, the first hit I got showed 180 agents. Now I will go through that list looking at the other types of books those agents handle to see if there is any crossover – like historical fiction and romance or historical fiction and women’s fiction. I found one there right away: historical fiction and women’s fiction. Looks like a good one for me to pitch.

So check out QueryTracker. Just google it. I have used it, and admittedly, I am a novice, but I got a response within a couple of weeks. It was not the one I wanted, but it did give me the courage to try again.

Writers Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers

You might explore becoming a Free QueryTracker Member

  • Search and filter publisher lists.
  • View statistics about publisher’s response times and reply rates.
    • Read comments by other authors who have queried the same publishers as you.
  • Access to tools to help you stay organized and error free.
  • Plus much more.

Join Now. It’s free and there is no obligation and no credit card required.

OK. I have more work to do and this is enough to send you shopping for an agent. Maybe it is just window shopping right now, but it is a start.

I am no longer teaching formal writing classes, but I am considering coaching. If you are looking for a coach, send me a note.

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