You have your amazing manuscript written. You made a list of agents you want to target. You have edited, researched and rewritten multiple times. You even came up with the ideal hook, genre category, biography and closing sales line. You are ready to address all the envelopes, stuff them with the query letters and slap the stamp on right? Wrong.
Your research is still not over yet. Just as we writers get frustrated by the form letters that agencies send in reply to our queries, so too do agents. If you send a generalized letter that to several agents that covers the basics but is not specifically tailored for anyone in particular it is unlikely that your query will make it very far.
You need to research each and every agent, editor and publisher you will be contacting in order to make sure each of your letters is designed to sell you the person you are contacting. If you take a few minutes per person you can find exactly what each one is looking for, what they represent and are accepting submissions for and many times even clues on how exactly how to sell to them.
Essentially there is no such thing as a one size fits all perfect pitch. It can be time consuming to look into every person you want to submit to but it is worth it. Because of how long it takes there are a number of authors that will decide not to submit to as many agents and publishers as they had originally planned but it is important to keep pushing through.
As I prepare for submissions of several projects over the next few months I have a list of over 100 agents. Not all of my books will be sent to all of the agents but I have a long list in each file. I picked my top twenty five agents in each file and I will be doing the research on those first then once I have submitted to all of them I will begin the research process on the next ten in each group. I am planning to submit in waves until I finally get an acceptance.
The letter I am in search of can take months or even years to come but I am determined to find my agent and get the representation I have always dreamed of. It is on my list of goals for 2016 and I am very excited about getting to work!