Last night I watched a helpful three-part  YouTube video by literary agent Mark McVeigh. The video is full of solid advice for writers seeking representation, and it gives viewers a human understanding of how literary agents work. One tidbit that I found most helpful for the agent search was McVeigh’s advice to query an agent one week after he or she moves to a new agency. When an editor or agent switches locations, McVeigh explains, s/he is looking to build his/her client list. McVeigh suggests waiting a week before emailing because that gives the agent/editor time to settle into the new place.

How do you know when an agent or editor moves to a new agency or house? McVeigh suggests keeping an eye on Mediabistro’s Revolving Door, a listing that shows who’s moving where in the publishing world. I’ve found that searching for the words “agent” or “editor” are helpful when viewing this list, as it is comprehensive.

I like this method because, theoretically, if you’re querying an agent who’s moving, s/he has experience from his/her previous agency. You’re not just querying an agent who’s graduated from an internship. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fine to query new agents, and sometimes it works out really well for writers who do. The “revolving door” approach is just one more method that can help with the search for representation.

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