Continuing with my writing and publishing tools series, I have a few more fantastic things to help you out in your writing life. I heard back from many of you last week who tried out AutoCrit and loved it, so if you missed that post, check it out here!
One of the most helpful things I've ever done as a writer has been reading the blogs of literary agents. I can’t stress enough how much this has improved my writing, and they have made me a much more knowledgeable member of the publishing community as well. Agent blogs have clarified querying and contract issues, helped me understand the current market better, and addressed issues I didn’t even know to look for in my writing. Agents post contests, query critiques, successful queries, analyses of their slush piles, and tons of other helpful information. In order to help other writers find these fabulous blogs, a while ago I posted a list of nearly 70 on my personal blog. You can find that here. I definitely recommend checking them out and subscribing to your favorites, or just keeping the list around to reference when you want some great reading material.
Another great practice is following agents on Twitter. Through Twitter, I’ve been able to personally connect with agents over shared interests, see their announcements about book deals and contests, and get a better idea of who these agents are as people, which definitely helps during the querying process. If you aren’t on Twitter, consider joining. The writing community there is fantastic- authors, agents, and editors included. I’ve compiled a list of approximately 280 agents on Twitter here. You can subscribe to the list or follow the agents individually, if you like.
My final tool for today is definitely one I’m excited about. Noah Lukeman, author, agent, and president of Lukeman Literary Management, has a great collection of works definitely worth reading. He's written several books on craft and publishing you can check out here, but as of April 2012, he has made How to Land (and Keep) a Literary Agent, How to Write a Great Query Letter, and Ask a Literary Agent all available for download, at no charge. I've seen some agent advice that differs from what he says on certain topics, so definitely compare his advice with what you see elsewhere, but I’ve found his books to be very helpful and informative. Go here to get your copies!
Have you read any of Mr. Lukeman’s works? Do you know of a great agent blog you’d like others to know about?