One of the best ways to research literary agents is to follow them on Twitter. It can help you discover if your dream agent is all she or he seems—or if a different agent might be a better fit. You can get an idea about what an agent is looking for and a handle on their tastes. Basically, Twitter following agents will help you know more about them as individuals, that will help you make wiser choices about who to query, and in turn will lead to a higher request rate.
Here are a dozen of my thoughts about following and researching agents on Twitter--in 140 characters or less, of course.
- Take advantage of the scheduled and spontaneous Twitter chats where anyone can ask agents questions. Look for hashtags like #askagent
- To make following easier and faster, create a Twitter List for the agents you want to follow.
- An agent’s Tweets often reveal personal traits, like sense of humor, likes and dislikes, temperament, odd quirks and pet peeves.
- With the exception of agent sponsored Twitter pitch contests, NEVER query an agent via Twitter.
- Keep your eyes open, agents often Tweet and RT contests and events they are involved in.
- Many agents announce their slush updates on Twitter. This includes no-response-means-no agents.
- You can get a feeling for an agent’s taste by seeing what movies and books they enjoy—and by learning about their favorite pastimes.
- Agents often give writing and querying advice on Twitter.
- Agents discuss the market and publishing in general with editors on Twitter.
- Twitter gives you a chance to catch a peek at an agent’s professionalism and work style, before you query them.
- Agents usually Tweet when they’ve updated their blog. This can help you spot interesting posts.
- Agents sometimes mention what they are looking for on Twitter.
Now it’s your turn. Did you use Twitter to research agents? Do you have any thoughts or advice?