Mucha-Monaco-Monte-CarloAuthor Lisa Preston (, spoke to The Writing Popular Fiction class of author Janice MacDonald in September, 2007. Lisa Preston does workshops. Check out her site for more information. This are some of her excellent recommendations for researching appropriate agents to query about your novel.

There are 4 requirements for a writer to get an agent and sell their novel or memoirs:

  1. The novel must be good enough — don’t send it out too early.
  2. The query must be good enough — go pro.
  3. The agent must be good enough — do your homework before you sign.
  4. Your luck must be good enough.

Three of these requirements are under your control.

Resources for Researching Agents

Subscription sites:
(While there’s no free lunch, Cader’s Publisher’’s Lunch column is good and has tasty tidbits)
Free Resources
Library Sections: 070, 808
[source for books like Writer’s Market, Guide to Literary Agents, Herman’s Literary Marketplace]

Also read the Acknowledgments, Dedications, etc. of novels and memoirs similar to yours to find the names of potential
Google Book Search: (search on agent’s name or word “agent”
for listings in dedications, etc.)
updated on Friday every week with industry promotions & moves; catching someone who has been promoted to acquisition agent or agent from assistant can be a good break; someone moving to start a new line or at a new house will be looking to acquire new titles to make his/her own mark (Read “The Forest for the Trees” by Betsy Lerner)
When reading postings in forums, consider the source and don’t take the information as gospel:

Ann Crispin & Victoria Strauss Site: Writer Beware:
(a pair of SF/Fantasy writers who posts listings about suspicious or fraudulent agents, publishers, contests, etc. A.C. Crispin started out as a Trek fan who sold to the original Star Trek novel line and parlayed that into a career).

Blogging Agents:
Nathan Bransford:
Jennifer Jackson:
Jonathon Lyons:
Kristin Nelson:
Deidre Knight et al:
Jet Reid:
Sachs, Faust et al:
Nephele Tempest:
Rachel Vater:
Dystel & Goderich et al:

Miss Snark:
Evil Editor:
Predators & Editors at

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