Research Agents and Publishers Like a Pro

Learn to efficiently research and assemble a quality list of agents and publishers who are right for your book.


Jane Friedman


Live on August 4, 2022, or watch recording


US-based writers who are new to agent & publisher research


Closed captions by Otter; transcript provided with recording

You have a polished manuscript or book proposal, and you’re ready to start pitching agents and publishers. But how do you figure out who to submit to? And how do you evaluate the quality of the agents and publishers you do find?

In this 75-minute live class, you’ll learn not only how to research agents and editors using a variety of online resources, but also how to evaluate fit and reputation, so that you don’t unwittingly end up with a schmagent or a publisher that’s really a self-publishing service.

What you’ll learn:

  • Specific free and paid sites you can use to research agents and publishers (we’ll go behind the scenes at three paid services: QueryTracker, Duotrope, and Publishers Marketplace)
  • The role of social media in researching agents and publishers, as well as pitching
  • The role of Google in surfacing quality agents and publishers (tip: never, ever click on the ads!)
  • How to evaluate the agents and publishers you find, determine if they belong on your hit list, and avoid potential scams
  • Using your research to help improve your query or pitch
  • A methodical process for submitting work (tip: don’t submit to agents and publishers at the same time)
  • If and when you should ignore the submission guidelines of agents and publishers
  • “Back door” methods of pitching agents or publishers

Who should take this class

  • First-time and unpublished authors who are preparing to submit their work to agents
  • Traditionally published authors who are seeking an agent for the first time
  • Self-published and hybrid published authors who plan to pitch agents or editors for their next work
  • Authors of any genre and category
  • Creative writing students and graduates of MFA programs who want to learn how to research agents and publishers

This class isn’t suited for

  • Writers who are not pitching US-based agents and publishers. If you are based in Canada, the UK, Australia, or Europe, this class might not be for you unless you’re focused on getting published in the US market. (Advice from Jane: Authors in overseas markets often believe their home market is too small, and therefore want to pitch US agents and publishers. However, it’s generally better to start in your home country first, especially if your characters, settings, and themes are tied to your home country. If your book is not culture specific, however, and you discover a US agent or publisher who you think is the perfect fit, then there’s no harm in pitching as you would an agent or publisher in your home country.)

What’s included in all of Jane’s classes

How do I attend the live class?

This class uses Zoom webinar technology (see system requirements). You will join through your Internet-connected computer or mobile device.

When you register, you will receive an email from Zoom on how to join the class. If you don’t receive it within 1 hour of registering, please contact us.

  • When: Thursday, August 4, 2022
  • Time: 1:00–2:15 p.m. Eastern / 10:00 a.m. Pacific
  • Fee: $25

The webinar is broadcasted via the internet with live audio delivered through your computer or mobile device speakers. The visual presentation is displayed directly from the presenter’s computer to your computer screen. The Q&A is managed through a chat-style submission system with questions read and answered by the presenter for the entire class to hear.

Closed captions are provided during the live class. We use Zoom’s automated closed caption service (powered by Otter), which is about 80%+ accurate. We also use Otter AI to generate an unedited transcript, provided with the recording.

About the instructor

Jane Friedman has spent nearly 25 years working in the book publishing industry, with a focus on author education and trend reporting. She is the editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential publishing industry newsletter for authors, which was named 2020 Media Outlet of the Year by Digital Book World.

Her latest book is The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press), which received a starred review from Library Journal. In addition to serving on grant panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund, she works with organizations such as The Authors Guild to bring transparency to the business of publishing.

I want to sincerely thank you so much for taking the time to prepare and present such a meaningful workshop. I still can’t get over the amount of content, feedback and value for money from this offering. Your expertise in the industry is just what I needed. I am so grateful that you have taken the time to share such valuable information with us.

Valerie L.

Over the last year or so, I found your The Business of Being a Writer book, your webinars, and your website. Had I started this adventure earlier, I’d like to think I would have evolved to doing as good a job at this as you are. Keep it up. You are professional, genuine, and provide value.

Linda E.

Jane’s webinar was outstanding on content and delivery. She honed in on points that I am unfamiliar with being new in the writing world. Her experience as an editor, writer, and publisher herself is very much appreciated. Jane’s willingness to share her knowledge with others in learning how to navigate the publishing industry is greatly appreciated. 

Sharon B.

All students receive the following

  • Access to the live class. After roughly 60 minutes, Jane will take questions during class using in-class chat/text. The class will end after roughly 75 minutes.
  • A recording of the class—audio and video. This is especially helpful if you have a conflict with the class time or something comes up and you can’t make the session. Each registration comes with access to the archived version of the program and the materials for 30 days. You do not have to attend the live event to access the recordings. You will receive an email from Zoom with information on how to access the recording.
  • Presentation slides. All participants receive a copy of the slide presentation in PDF form.
  • Rough transcript. We use Otter to create an automated transcript of the entire webinar, which we’ll share with you in addition to the audio and video recording.

Event Attendance & Anti-Harassment Policy

We strive to provide an environment where all present—whether attendee, presenter, or staff—can feel supported. In order to ensure a welcoming event, here is what we expect from all who participate.

  • That the presenter and the presenter’s work be treated with respect by attendees and that all attendees treat each other with respect and a generosity of spirit.
  • That attendees will refrain from harassment of any sort including (but not limited to) comments or questions of a racist, homophobic, sexist/sexual, or threatening nature. This includes actions that disrupt or interfere with anyone’s ability to participate. Offenders will be disconnected from the live event.