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Agents Acquiring “Selectively”

Agents, by nature, are selective. We both can be and have to be. Selling a book is even far more difficult than finding an agent, and we all have limited bandwidth which means we can only handle so many author careers at any given time.

But what does it mean when an agent says they are only looking for “select” books in a given genre?

What does an agent mean when they say they  “take select Ya” . What if they haven’t listed what genre that select YA is in? Is it worth the time to query them or should you concentrate more on those agents who seem more open to YA?

–From Questions for the Blog

The only thing the agent is telling you is that they reject far more than they request at this point in time. Of course, it’s worth your time to query. I direct you to our video on rejecting yourself. Any query is worth sending. Just don’t feel bad if you get a rejection, and rejoice extra hard if you get a request.

The reason an agent might not include specifics in a case like this is that they don’t know. They are looking for any book that grabs them, but don’t have an exact idea of what that would be. It could be yours. The only way to know is to try.

If I were you, I would concentrate on getting your book into as many agent hands as you can. Don’t make the decision not to let the agent see your book for them.

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6 comments

    1. Vivian, you can get an agent many ways like participating in pitch contests, going to writing conferences, or via slush pile. You need a polished manuscript, a query, a synopsis, and sample pages/partial. Check out MSWL and Querytracker to help you line up your query list. Good luck!

  1. “Selling a book is even far more difficult than finding an agent” … covering my eyes right now. Don’t want to know this until I’ve managed to find an agent. Baby steps!

  2. Thanks for answering this question. I’ve often wondered what it meant. I also enjoyed your video which talked about not self-rejecting.

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