Now that you know your genre, make sure to only target agents that work with that genre. You don’t want to send your Romance pitch to an agent who only deals with Biographies.

Use one or more or all of the following ways to find them:

Look in Books Like Yours
Find out who the agent is for books in your genre that you love. Either look at the author’s website or in their actual book. Authors generally thank their agent on the Acknowledgments or Dedication page.

Search a Free Agent Database
I personally think is one of the best, and it’s free. On the homepage, find the “Quick Agent Search” box on the left, and simply select your genre. You’ll get a good list of agents to start with. It won’t tell you everything you need to know about them or how to submit to them, but you will have great names for free!

Writer’s Market
Back when I was in high school (before we had the Internet!), the yearly Writer’s Market book was an aspiring author’s bible. Since it is a printed work, some things can be out-of-date by the time the book is published, but it’s fairly reliable. It’s a huge book — 922 pages! — packed with info, and is only $20 on Amazon. Well worth the investment.

If you want up-to-the-minute updated information that is searchable and cut-and-pastable, you can also subscribe to Writer’s Market online. You can either do it month-by-month for $5.99/month (they promise you can cancel at any time, but it is automatically renewing, so you have to physically cancel it); or pay $39.99 for a year (try this discount code for $10 off a yearly subscription: 1YRAPR11).

Or for $31, you can get the deluxe paperback which includes a 1-year online subscription.

PS — Writer’s Market is how Twilight author Stephenie Meyer found her amazing agent Jodi Reamer.

Personal Recommendations
I’m not going to lie, unless you are their legitimate best friend or related to them, most writers will not call up their own agent and sing your praises for you. It’s not personal–well, it kind of is because they don’t really personally know you–it’s practical. As much as any published writer would like to help the thousands of other struggling writers out there, no one’s agent wants to take those thousands of phone calls.

You can still stack the deck in your favor, though, by finding agents that will naturally be friendlier to you because of a common link. Search your alumni database for literary agents. Try and make a connection through LinkedIn. Or if you’re really creative, do a search on and see if the agent you lust after isn’t really your second cousin twice removed. (I’m kidding. Maybe.)

>> NEXT: Research Those Agents