Writing Books/agents

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Question
How can I zero in on agents handling my type of material?
Do you know of a good  agent guidebook?

A  may see that  an agent handles "urban fiction". But it doesn't specify that its chick lit type and not "Abraham Lincoln Vampire Killer" or a modern day male detective hunting vampires.
It can become difficult to locate exactly the type the agent handles.
Thanks.

Answer
You're right... it's difficult to know exactly what they handle.  But there are two guides I can recommend.

One is Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, and Literary Agents.  It's published annually.

The second, and the one I'm more familiar with, is the Guide to Literary Agents, published annually by Writer's Digest Books.  The 2012 editions of both of these books are available now.

In each of these, the agency will have a listing detailing what they are looking for, how to contact them, etc.  In most cases, they will also list some of their recent sales, so you can actually look at those books to see what they're like.  You can also, once you have one you think might be looking for your sort of work, Google the agency and find more books they've represented, which will help you even more.

Hope that helps.

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Vincent M. Wales

Expertise

I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.

Experience

For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

Education/Credentials
BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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