The Problem with Agency Databases

By now you know we’ve made a major change at BookEnds. Not only have we updated our website, but we’ve changed our URL address for the website and our email. For the foreseeable future, all of the old email addresses will forward (so please don’t worry that yours might be lost), but that isn’t helping ensure that all of the postings about BookEnds are updated.

I spent a good portion of Monday following the analytics on the old website and trying to update the various agent listing sites (literary rejections, querytracker, literaryagencies, agent query, etc). Unfortunately, updating isn’t as easy as it should be.

Some of the sites (Query Tracker) are amazing and update information pretty regularly. I know query tracker in particular relies on their own community for updates, while others rely on agents to make sure the information is updated. From this agent’s perspective, its rare for us to change our mind, our address, or our name and think to contact the many agency listing sites out there. Sometimes its hard enough to change our own websites.

If you want to make sure you’re submitting the right information to the right agent you need to check out that agent’s website. I suspect our email will stop forwarding before some of these sites get updated.

Category: BlogJessica Faust

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9 comments

  1. I echo this. When I’ve closed to queries in the past, I’ve tried to update the places writers get information and it’s really more trouble than it should be!

    I still get mail to an address that is more than ten years out of date!

  2. Yeah, there’s no point even relying on your own query history. Agents move agencies, branch off and form their own agencies, and just plain change their tastes more often than even things like getting a new url. You’ve got to check the actual agency website – and even then sometimes it’s not updated. I’ve gotten e-mails like “Sorry, dude, I don’t even take fiction anymore” when the website says “send me your sci-fi, fantasy, and horror.”

  3. I always check the agent’s website to confirm information, but sometimes (as Stephen said), those websites are out-of-date or it can be really difficult to find the relevant information (I’ve even had one or two where I couldn’t find it at all).

    Janet, I’m surprised you still have the email address after 10 years!

  4. Oh, I need to make sure the link on my site works properly. I’m fairly sure I did that before your move.

    I Googled ‘finding an literacy agent’ the list of places and books was almost as long as the list of agents when you search that.
    I don’t envy you the task, good luck.

  5. Thank you for the kind words about QueryTracker. We don’t think it is the agent’s job to update their profiles on our site. You’ve got more important things to do. So we monitor the agent’s websites, blogs and twitter accounts. If you make a change there, we’ll know about it and will update your profiles accordingly.

    Thanks again.

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