Thank goodness this is NOT the normal practice in publishing. Seven years ago, it was hard enough narrowing down the categories I wanted to represent. Hence the thought of actually being forced to determine the characteristics I’d want in an author (represented) is next to impossible. Ultimatlely this process is all about the book idea, the author’s writing voice, and the author’s writing experience. It’s that simple.
Speaking as an agent who has a hard enough time keeping up with all the print and online sources (that would be labelled as required reading), and the many emails of unsolicited queries – any process in which writers can find me (the agent) is always greatly appreciated.
In addition to Jeff Herman’s book and Writer’s Market, any new and progressive online source for aspiring authors is always a “good thing.” I’ve long been a fan of Publisher’s Marketplace, which costs $20/month; seriously worth the money, and an opportunity to tune into the current state of the publishing world on a daily basis.
As for new resources, WEBook is definitely worth the examination. In short, agents register with WEBook (once approval is given), allowing authors to peruse their profiles & representative categories. As a writer at WEBook, any aspiring author will be able to add a query letter, submit a manuscript sample, and select agents to send them to. WEBook will then approve the writer’s query to agents once it meets the General Submission Guidelines. Post approval, the query will automatically go into the selected agent inboxes, thereby making the query process more effective.
I am personally already digging WEBook, and look forward to seeing where it goes over the next year. I personally would like to be able to search the available proposals, but after some examination, that’s not an option yet. (I’m patient, fingers crossed that will be a possibility someday.)
Now if I could find a way for Twitter users to submit proposals directly from Twitter, looks like I have a new mission. . .