We've all heard the analogies going around about what it is like to try to find an agent:
A ho looking for a pimp.
Winning the lottery.
Of those three, I just want to declare that finding an agent is NOTHING like winning a lottery. To win a lottery, you absently pull a dollar out of your pocket while picking up a candy bar and 44oz Mt Dew, then vaguely remember later to check your numbers and discover you are a millionaire. Published does NOT = rich, and there's a whole lot more work involved than spending a dollar.
I think that the most accurate analogy to finding an agent is: Fishing. Only there's a lake the size of Erie, you are in a dinghy with one pole, there's only 1000 fish in the lake, and 25,000 other fishers.
Your query is your bait. Agents even tell you PUT YOUR HOOK IN YOUR QUERY. To tempt the elusive agent fish, your bait must be better than the other hook-impaled queries out there. Don't cover your query with color. The agent fish is wise to this flashy tactic. Your bait must be tempting, yes, but also MORE tempting than fishermanBob. The agent fish gets full easily and will only eat the attached manuscripts that truly hold its interest. Sometimes it eats the query, but spits out the hook and this is discouraging. Sometimes it swallows the query, the hook, part of the manuscript, and then still gets away.
Don't get discouraged! There are other fish in the Erie, yes? And like other fish there, you do not eat the agent fish. It's more like a trophy fish. You hang it on the wall, stuffed, and tell your friends at cocktail parties about the one that almost got away.
Does anyone else have an agent search analogy to share?