On Writer Wednesdays I will highlight something in the publishing world that I believe would be helpful to other writers.
When I first starting looking for a agent I identified resources that I thought would help my fellow writers. A fellow writer introduced me to a wonderful woman named Marcela Landres. Marcela introduced me to the Publishers Marketplace. Boy did it help. The monthly cost ($25) is worth it for the information you gain. And you can cancel any time you want. The site allows you to see what agents are making the most deals and with who. You can see what genres are selling the most and for how much. That information is valuable because you know who to target and what kind of deals they negotiate.
Before you get to the process above you need a polished query letter. I researched everything I could on query letters and came across the QueryShark. She is a phenomenal resource for authors and she gives in depth examples of query letters that actually work. Definitely a great Twitter follow.
Years ago, I attended a writer group in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania and met an agent named Marie Lamba. She gave a short speech about attracting a literary agent and her words stuck with me. She said your manuscript has to be in the best shape possible before you submit to an agent. The manuscript should be comparable to traditionally published books in your genre. There are thousands of unpublished authors vying for attention and you need something that sets you apart from the crowd. Attention to detail is a start.