Market Research

A Pen In Each Hand

By Beaver

While it’s true that first you must write, and if you’re a fiction writer, you shouldn’t be contacting agents before you have a finished manuscript in hand, a little advance research will give you a head start when it does come time to venture into the slush.

Start a new folder in your favorites. If you’re an avid reader of the genre you write in–and you should be–make note of who publishes the books you read. When you have some spare time, check out the publishers’ websites, see who else they publish, and if they look like they might be a good fit for you, add the URL to your folder. [Tip: If you’re reading a paperback, look inside the front cover to find out who published the original hardcover version.]

Google your favorite authors; see if they have websites, and if possible, find out who their agents are. Once you have an agent’s name, find out if s/he has a website, and again, if it looks promising, add the URL to your folder. Poke around the sites. Follow any interesting leads. A few minutes here and there, and by the time you’ve put the final polish on your novel, you’ll have focused list of prospects to start contacting, and the task of marketing will seem much less daunting.

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