It has been quite a while, indeed. I thought I would pull myself out of the depths of researching agents to share with you where I am on my publishing quest, as well as some of the great resources I have found along the way.

I have my PB manuscript (five actually) ready to send out into the world. It’s an exciting phase of the process to finally be finished and start researching agents, but as many of you probably already know, it’s not an easy next step. Where do you look? What are you looking for in an agent? How do you pitch your book to a specific agent? 

I’m sharing my process below in hopes that it will help you along the way, but keep in mind, it’s not a cookie-cutter process. You may find some things that work for you and others that don’t.

·       I started with the Blue Pencil Mentorship program with CANSCAIP: here you are partnered with a published author who provides you with a professional evaluation of your book. I had the opportunity to ask follow-up questions and in turn, asked what resources or people I could reach out to for further advice. 

·       Enter Facebook groups: KIDLIT411 and KIDLIT411 Manuscript Swap. The members of these groups are asking questions about everything from writing a PB manuscript, to how to navigate publishing contracts. These groups are a wealth of resources and full of people willing and wanting to read your manuscript for you. 

·       I’m also a SCBWI member and took advantage of finding agent listings through “The Book.” I Googled every single listed agent accepting PBs. From there, I’ve narrowed in on specific agents. For example, my books are humorous (at least I hope they are), so I read through bios looking for specific things like “I love a PBs that make me laugh out loud.” If the agent accepted PBs, but it was the last item on their list, I put them in the “check later” pile.

·       Which brings me to my next point. Start a spreadsheet if you can. You’ll be making notes of their websites, what months they are accepting queries, and what agents are at the top of your list. 

·       Hot tip: cross-reference agent websites with their bio on the agency website, along with their bio on Query Tracker, Publishers Marketplace, or MS Wishlist (P.S all great places to find agents). Sometimes their submission guidelines differ depending on which site is the most updated. I find the agency website and their own website are great places to search first. 

· Once you have your list, check it twice! (that’s where I am right now). BookEnds Literary Agency offers some fantastic tips on building your submission list. I highly recommend you check out their YouTube channel!

Well, there you have it. This is the path I have taken and I’m hopeful it will take me all the way. I think the research part is incredibly important. While the shotgun-blast way of sending out a manuscript may appeal in that someone down the line might take hold of your manuscript, I really want to partner with someone that loves my work and believes in me. 

I would love to hear your comments or tips on researching agents. Drop them in the comments below.