Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Seeing Things From an Agent's Perspective

Now that I'm following lots of blogs, I feel like I finally identify with the plight of a literary agent.

I check Blogger in the morning before I go to work, and since I'm usually running late as it is, I don't have time to read every single entry in my blogroll.  Instead I have to peruse, picking and choosing based on the post titles and the two or three sentences that show up beneath it.

There are a few blogs that I visit no matter what, but when I'm crunched for time, the only ones I'm going to drop in on are the ones that caught my attention.  Being another five minutes late for work is time well spent if I really enjoy the post, or find it particularly informative.  But if I'm going to risk those five minutes, I have to have a reason to believe it's worth it.

It occurred to me that a literary agent's inbox is like a blogroll, times 100.  All day every day, they have to decide what they MUST READ RIGHT NOW versus what they may take a look at later, versus what they're not going to bother reading at all.

All the more reason why the title of your story and the first few sentences of your query really need to jump out and grab the reader's attention.

All the more reason I'm scared to death to query. 

So tell me, peeps.  Do you visit every entry in your blogroll?  And if not, what makes you click or not click?  I'm hoping we'll see a pattern emerge in the anwers and unlock the secret to getting a query noticed!


  1. There are so many blogs out there that it's not possible to visit everyone. Bear in mind that it's not completely similar to an agent's inbox. An agent will likely click on an email if the subject line reads either 'offer of representation received' 'Book offer' (From a publisher who an author's work has been submitted to, or 'offer of publication received.' Queries, in most cases I'm afraid, are left to last.

    Some agents are super fast on responding to queries, though - I love those ones!

  2. I don't have a blogroll (other than four writing ones that rock) anymore because there were so many great ones I loved. The blogroll got to be too long. :P

  3. I wish I could visit every one, but there just isn't enough time! I end up going to the "reliable" ones, then look around at the other titles.

  4. I read by experience. When I find a blog I think I'll like, I add it to my list. As new posts come up, I check them out. If I enjoy them, I keep going back to it. If, however, after a few times, I'm finding the blog to uninformative/nonentertaining, I quit bothering with it.

  5. I find myself having about 100 blog posts a day to read... that's pretty full on :P

  6. Wow...really interesting way to look at it!! I'm like you...I only have so much time, so I scroll through and certain ones I will always click on, but others, the title really needs to grab me. I'll click and if the first few lines get me, I'll keep reading. But many times I have to just skim, especially if it's a long post. Short ones are easier to handle. And I don't always comment...depends on if I have anything interesting to add.