Agent Hunter is a new, easily navigated website which if you are an aspiring author in the UK could be one of the best uses of £12 this year, allowing you to search for agents and publishers to target for your submissions. And we aren't just talking about name, contact details and a client list. Not at all. There’s a short bio, followed by entries for likes & dislikes and whether they are actually keen to see submissions or whether their list is closed. I can set filters so that I only see those who represent YA writing, have a small list, are looking to extend it, accept e-mail subs and wear green hats on a Tuesday. (OK, I might have made that last one up.) Equally, the site tells me if they tweet, if they blog, whether they attend conferences and crucially, links straight into their agency website. So much time to be saved and that is always a winner in my book.
Obviously I love that the listings are constantly updated. We know that like any other industry, publishing is a game of musical chairs, and this is an instant where a digital tool like this is superior to say the bound Writer and Artist's Yearbook. When I'm in the middle of a submissions cycle I want to have the most current info to hand.
The site only launched this month, so new profiles are being added all the time, as well as updates being made to the existing. It is growing, but there is easily plenty there to be getting on with already. Personally I'd like the Publishers List to show Children's divisions of the larger publishing houses and imprints separately and I've fed this back, so fingers crossed. Additionally I think it would be useful to have a Watch list/ Basket function where in addition to saving searches, you can add agents to your basket as you do your research, giving you a pinpointed target list to print out and attack at the end.
I don't know whether there are plans to extend the site to cover Magazines and Journals and other areas, (though that would be ace) but for now it is certainly a site that I'm pleased exists. Breaking it down, it’s just 1 of the Queen's pounds a month, which IMHO is great value, for instant links and up-to-date info at my fingertips. That has to worth sacrificing some of your weekly sweets for, surely?
Take a look, they'll even do you a free 7 day trial, so you’ve nothing to lose.