For any other authors out there following our progress, there are many, many places to find literary agents, including but not limited to AgentQuery, Google, PublishersMarket, AAR, and Twitter. Yes, even Twitter. Some are obviously more legit places to look than others, but that does not mean that all agents (on Twitter for example) fall into the red flag territory.
For example, I am currently following Amy Boggs, who I found on her company website, Donald Maass from the same company, and that lead me to agents that they follow or reTweet. However, you still have to be careful of people claiming to be literary agents like this:
“Even if you don’t use my services, you have to pay me a commission or you can’t remain a client.” (Barbra Annino via Twitter)
This could not be more of a red flag. Even if you do not use her services you have to pay? Seriously? No legit agent will charge you a reading fee, much less a fee for not using them at all. Agents make money when you make money, which is one reason it is good to have one. Members of the AAR are automatically anti-red flag, and everyone else falls somewhere in the middle. So what’s an author to do? What if someone on Twitter looks promising? Well, chances are you will not find their mailing address on Twitter anyway, but even if somehow you do, do your homework. Your MS is your baby and you do not want anyone conning you out of it. Ask around, see what other people saw about them (check the Writer’s Water Cooler, it often comes up when you Google the agent) and check their company website, see what their current client list is like and their most recent sales.
Good luck to all of you who are in the same boat as Ermi and I. Querying is a long process and there’s still the step of getting the agent to lure in a publisher. There are no short cuts. I can’t imagine a short cut to writing a full MS, so think of this as part of the process.