Just a note to say that hunting for literary agents is taking MUCH longer than I had anticipated it would. My rookie status in the publishing industry wasn't clear to me until just a few weeks ago. I created a l-o-o-o-n-g list of agents from Agent Query, and then began ranking them in order of preference. After getting about 8 that I felt really good about, I thought that I would send out my first wave and then keep building the list while I waited. (Technically I found 10, but I want to save two of them for round 2, in case my query is universally crappy and I decide to re-work it. If, on the other hand, fate smiles at me and I get several requests in round 1, I'll send it quickly off to the remaining 2 agents in the hopes that they'll join the game.)
With list in hand, I thought it would be relatively quick work of personalizing query letters and sending everything off.
Not. So. Fast.
As I began personalizing, I did quite a bit more reading (and I didn't shirk this to begin with) and learned what signs of success and red flags to watch for. More digging and research was required on each agent. I've already found that one of them has a questionably small level of sales and has a potential conflict of interest. It's not an outright scam by any means, but I'm planning to email Writer Beware to see if they have any dirt. Even if it turns out to be fine, I will probably bump them toward the bottom of the list pending more verified sales to big publishers.
Having not bothered to do industry research in favor of using my limited time to actually finish the novel, I now have a lot to learn in a short time. I'm glad I'm doing all this, even though I'd hoped to get wave 1 out already. Still, it's still frustrating to think of how little I'm getting done. I'm also sweating the query letter, even though I think it's pretty polished, but...
Breathe, writer. Just breathe.