No, not the 1966 song by Johnny Rivers or the one season (2000) TV series. I’m more concerned about CIA agents. Can I Access an agent? Holy Cow!!! Until I started my search, I had no idea there was a literary agency, “Secret Agent Man.” But, I’m not compelled to change the title of this post.
There are other sources for lists, but I started with Writer’s Market’s 210 recently posted list of literary agents representing novels.
My first category for narrowing down the 210 for a closer look: Genre. But, I haven’t quite yet decided in which my work falls, but I do know where it doesn’t fit, so it was out with 34 of the classic publishing industry defined definitions. That narrowed the 210 to 64.
My current work does have religious, spiritual and suspense elements, but does it fall into those? The story also has strong elements of PTSD from Vietnam and circumstantial homelessness, so I believe it also fits contemporary. So, with Vietnam being a past issue of its characters, war or military may be a fit also.
The experiment continued with my making the genre` very, very tight – Christian fiction. This narrowed the 64 to 12. However, there were 16 more agencies that appeared to be possible within the genre`. I eliminated Amish romance, cozy and historical mysteries – not my style. Now it’s 10!
Agencies common timelines appear to be six to eight weeks for their response, if any, so I decided to narrow it to Christian fiction with simultaneous submissions permitted or encouraged. Only one of the 10 said it did not accept simultaneous submissions. Six said no simultaneous submissions to agents within the agency, and three didn’t say either way.
So, I’ve spent about 12 hours on this endeavor, and I’ve not yet explored the other genres where my work might fit.
Am I frustrated? No. But, the exercise confirms that there is certainly more to writing a book than writing a book.
OBTW, the agency not accepting simultaneous submissions might be the best fit for my work when it’s ready for that step. It just might, just might be the future of what made up for the 12 non-writing hours. However, it probably depends on that agency’s definition of Christian fiction.
There may also be an element of irony in my title: “Secret Agent Man” agency represents Christian fiction.
I wonder how much time it will take just for exploring other avenues of marketing. Now back to getting my W ready for the most favorable looking agency.