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Tips for Creating or Updating an Agent Profile

Agent Query offers the following advice and recommendations to literary agents attempting to properly create or update their AQ database profile.

Genres Represented

Our genres represented category is separated into two sub-categories: fiction and nonfiction. Feel free to checkbox all the fiction and nonfiction genres that you represent. However, we recommend that you don’t over-exaggerate your interests. Simply be honest and realistic. If you like literary fiction, but don’t really sell much of it, then don’t checkmark it. Otherwise, you will get queries for literary fiction—it’s that simple.

Facts & Tid-Bits

This section often includes previous publishing experience such as former employment as an editor at a major publishing company. We also list books written by agents in this section. Furthermore, feel free to disclose any hobbies, personal interests, or special traits in this section.

Special Interest

Really interested in chick lit, but only if there's a love story? Tell us and we’ll put this in your special interests. What about new age nonfiction, especially related to Buddhism? Let us know, and feel free to be as specific as you like. We aim to keep this section as specific and accurate as possible because it helps writers zero in on the right agents for their book.

Does Not Represent

Stop inappropriate queries by listing exactly what you don’t represent. Feel free to go hog-wild and list everything you’re not interested in. We’ll make sure the word on the street gets out.

Submission Preferences?

Some agencies are moving towards “paperless” offices and they prefer email queries over snail mail slush. If this is you, be sure to check your submission preference as “email”. If you hate to receive email queries, be sure to submit your submission preference as “snail mail.” If you don’t really mind either, but you prefer one over the other, checkmark your preference and clarify your position in the submission guidelines section.

Accepts Email Queries?

This is self-explanatory. But we often get the question from agents, “If I don’t accept email queries, why do you still list my email address?” The answer is simple: an email address is a contact fact—same as a phone number or mailing address—and we aim to provide complete and accurate information. In rare cases, we do honor requests to remove email addresses from agents’ profiles, but we prefer to give our writers the benefit of the doubt. If they see that you don’t accept email queries, we expect them to be courteous and professional by querying via snail mail.

Actively Seeking New Clients?

We all know that agents are always looking for new clients, but this question is really code for: are you accepting unsolicited queries? Are you actually reviewing unsolicited queries from the slush pile with the eye of catching something that sparks your interest? If you are, great. Let us know, and your profile will be tagged as “Actively Accepting New Clients.” If you aren’t, tell us, and we’ll note this in your profile. We really believe if writers know that you don’t want to be queried, they won’t waste their money or time—or yours.

Please List Titles/Authors of Books You’ve Represented

We offer this section as a way to conveniently show writers the types of books you represent. Listing titles sold is a concise way for writers to determine if you might be the right agent for their book. For this reason, we tend to stray away from listing your most recent sales, especially if they haven't gone to print yet. We let Publishers Lunch report most recent sales. We prefer, instead, to list books that have gone to print and are available for review at Amazon.com. Such books provide more information to a writer about your sales history and the types of books you represent than a one-sentence blurb in the trades about a book that you sold for a high-six-figure advance. That kind of information just turns writers into frenzied copycats.

Please list Former Literary Agencies

We like listing previous agency affiliations because it helps us verify your identity as well as provides a clear picture of your experience as a literary agent. While we don’t require you to fill in this information, we encourage you to do so, especially if you’ve recently moved from one agency to another.

Questions? Feel free to email us at mail@agentquery.com.