Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Guest-blogger Lindsay Reed Maines on Top 5 Literary Agent Blogs

I met journalist Lindsay Reed Maines when I took her pretzelly-fun one day workshop at the Writers Center in Bethesda MD on Yoga and Writing, which I warmly recommend to anyone interested in improving their writing. In addition to teaching yoga, she maintains the Rock and Roll Mamma blog, where you can read more about her endeavors, which include two books in progress, a novel and nonfiction book about the ways moms maintain their musical identities after having children, and the role music plays in parenting. Over to you, Lindsay!
Like all writers, I've spent time deeply immersed in the voodoo art of finding a literary agent. While conventional wisdom always dictates researching them as carefully as possible, how exactly does one go about doing that? I mean, sure, you can look up their most recent sales on Publishers Marketplace, but what does that REALLY tell you about them?

Oh, it's useful for specific, factual information, (yawn) but does it tell you who eats popcorn while reading submissions? Who hates being addressed as Ms.? Or any of the countless other proclivities one glimpses only through a window into another's mind? No. I think not.

Enter: The Agent Blog. It's so refreshing to meet the humans behind the letters, and to see the passion that goes into the books they sell. Here's my 5 faves, but there's many more. Enjoy, and happy querying!

Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency
Self-described "nice Mid-Westerner", Kristin Wheels and deals from Denver. From her track record, she dispels the myth that you've gotta be in New York to be a player.

Janet Reid, FinePrint Literary
Janet Reid has a lovely no-nonsense way about her, and a wicked sense of humor.

Jennifer Jackson, The Donald Maass Agency
Ms. Jackson has a wealth of greatly detailed information that's sure to strengthen your query.

Nathan Bransford, Curtis Brown Ltd.
Mr. Bransford's in San Francisco. As well as providing information about the particulars of querying and the issues they involve, he often offers an interesting view on the world of publishing at large.

Miss Snark
Anonymous and defunct, but oh so well loved. Spend some time in her archives, you'll not be disappointed.

Add them to your readers, my friends, and look at the numbers of the queries they're wading through as you wait the torturous 2-6 weeks. It makes the waiting go faster. All the best! You can do it! xoxo,

--- Lindsay Reed Maines

--->For the archive of Madam Mayo guest-blog posts, click here.

P.S. Madam Mayo's answer to the "Do I need an agent" question is here.