Agent Hunter: a sharp spear for authors seeking representation

Not a spear. Ginger1's karate sai

Not a spear. Ginger1’s sai

Harry Bingham, best-selling author and creator of The Writers Workshop has launched a new project aimed at helping unrepresented authors find agents. Harry believes that  Agent Hunter is a website that will revolutionise the search for literary agents, and I think he could be right. In many ways, I’m surprised that this hasn’t been done earlier, though given the contacts, cost and technical know-how required to build such an interface, perhaps not…

I’ve had the good fortune to cross paths with Harry a number of times over several years and I’ve had a thorough root around the site, and it does what it says on the tin. Here’s the blurb:

‘In the past, agent search has been a largely random process: pick a name, investigate slowly, add to list or discard – then repeat, and repeat, and repeat.

We thought that was silly. People should be able to search for agents by asking rational questions:

  • What new agents like sci-fi?
  • Which agents at larger agencies are seeking to add to their client lists?
  • Who represents fabulous Author X?

You should also be able to see instantly biogs of the agents you’re interested in. Also pictures, Twitter feeds, key links from around the web, likes and dislikes, submissions info – everything you’re interested in.’

Registering is straightforward and access to the entire database costs £12 a year; that’s a little cheaper than The Writers’ and Artists’ Year Book. Having spent time on the site I’d say that there are occasions when you’ll still need to go check out the site of the agency, or agent, you’re interested in.  But you’re a professional, right; you’d do that anyway? Also, this is a new project and, as such, still growing. There are agents not yet on board. However, the beauty of an online resource, like this, is that it can be updated regularly and information will be current. Paper references are researched long before publication and information is then static for twelve months, and as we all know lots can change during this time. I’ll be using the site, for sure.

In a world where aspiring writers can spend the equivalent of a small advance on authors’ services – MS assessment, workshops, festivals, networking sites and organisations, and so on and so forth – £12 seems like a small and worthwhile investment to me. And if you think I’m bias; I am. A little. I’m a fan of Harry’s work, and he’s a bit Welsh, like me.

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