Linda Epstein and Doing Your Research

Following this morning’s post, a pot of coffee, breakfast, a few rounds of depleting TP supplies, and more more more more research, I decided it’s time I do more research.

In my quest for finding a middle grade agent that truly seems in line with what I have to offer, I found Linda Epstein of The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. She runs The Blabbermouth Blog and is, of course, on twitter ( @LindaEpstein )

Per usual, I found out about the JDC Literary Agency through a different agent, but I’ve made it a habit to immediately look through every agent on any given agency site and see if there’s one more suiting. Doing this, I came across Linda who piqued my interest. She kindly took the time to provide a link to her blog post, “What I’m Looking For in 2015,” which is fantastic. It’d be great if other agents could be so forward about their #MSWL (Manuscript Wish List). (#IHateHashTags)

Within her blog, Linda lists books she wished she represented but doesn’t. Which is cool. Being the slow reader and generally busy person that I am, I don’t fly through books like most editors seem to. I wish I did—I just don’t. That being said, if I could, I’d go out, find the books Linda mentioned,

When You Reach Me—Rebecca Stead

Three Times Lucky—Sheila Turnage (Gonna get this one from the library)

Hook’s Revenge—Holly Schulz (according to Goodreads, it’s Heidi Schulz, not Holly)

and I’d devour them over the course of this weekend.

Since I’m a time-restrained, less-than-super-human being, however, I tend to go to GoodReads and read up on the books. If something seems similar to my own manuscript right off the bat, I’ll dig into the reviews posted on GoodReads. Why?

Because from everything I’ve heard, every single agent wants you to know how they like their eggs served for breakfast before you even think of emailing them.

I hate research, but this helps me find an “suitable” agent and decide how best to approach them. Plus, do enough research and you sometimes find little bits of exactly how they want to be queried.

Alex Slater of Trident Media Group hates to be addressed as Mr. Slater… it didn’t take much research to discover that fact, but had I not done it and queried him, I would have started the query to “Mr. Slater.”

So… I try doing my research.

From what I could manage to find out regarding Linda Epstein, I might be able to pique her interest with a pitch. But she wants the first 20 pages of my manuscript as well. Hopefully that might garner at least some advice or feedback. Only time will tell.

If Linda shows no interest, I’ve already considered another agent at the same agency. But, as of now, it’s time to go write my query.


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