Make the Query Process Easier Using Social Media, Learn from the Agents themselves

Yesterday I talked about why building a platform is not just for self-publishers. You can find part one of this post here.

I’d like to present another argument for why traditional publishing wannabes should be using social media presence way before they begin querying, ideally alongside writing the book. Let’s take a look.

Image courtesy of we-do-write.blogspot.com

Another case study from me!

Right now I am trying to find an agent to represent my husband’s book in order to sell the foreign rights. This is the first querying I have ever had to do since we have self published all of our books to date.

If you have any experience in it at all, then YOU KNOW JUST HOW CONFUSING & TIME CONSUMING THE QUERYING PROCESS IS!! It’s wild. There are so many agencies out there, that have so many agents, and it seems that choosing the right ones to query can take hours of research, some good timing and quite a lot of good fortune.

Thankfully we have been afforded an insight into some of these agents’ personalities and ways of working in a way that has never been possible before. Some of these agents are on Twitter & blog regularly and it’s possible for me to build a relationship by talking* to them, albeit a little Tweet here and there or a comment on a post every so often.

*Notice I said talking to them, not stalking them. Engage them in meaningful conversation – they are people too!! – don’t repeatedly ask if they will read your manuscript or represent you. Ok? Good.

I can see if I like them or not. Whether we’d be a good fit or whether I’d rather eat my own book. I can also learn what they do and don’t like in a manuscript and/or query to save me from wasting my time, cost of postage and energy. And I can even try to work out when they are busy vs. insanely busy – or even away for a vacation – in order to time my manuscript hitting their desk at just the right moment, if ever there was one.

Besides all this you’ll learn what they love in a query, what they absolutely can’t stand, and a whole lot more about formatting, subject lines and all the nitty gritty details of the query letter.

MediaBistro has an excellent list of literary agents that use Twitter here.

ReadWriteTweet has another comprehensive list, focusing mainly on Young Adult agents.

Here is a great thread on the AbsoluteWrite forums on Agents who blog.

So go get following and interacting, and you’ll see just how much you can learn from being surrounded by the right people!

If you need help with your social media strategy or even getting set up, we can help!

 



Laura Pepper Wu is the co-founder of 30 Day Books: a book studio. She has worked with a variety of authors to successfully promote their books, including many Amazon best-sellers. Laura is the author of wedding non-fiction guides and book marketing guides 77 Ways to Find New Readers for Your Self-Published Book and Fire Up Amazon!

Laura also runs Ladies Who Critique, a critique-partner finding site. When she's not working at the studio, you can find her walking her dog, "yoga-ing" or at a coffee shop in Seattle.