If you’re an author like me, you write a lot even when you’re not on your current WIP. Whether you’re looking for an agent, new reviewers, or anything else that you could make a list of, if you’re not making a spreadsheet to keep track of whom you’ve contacted, there’s every likelihood you’ll be contacting the same people over and over.
Stop doing that. Just stop it.
Seriously, you may have ready my post on why I moved to Google Drive and if you haven’t yet because you’re afraid the gummymint is watching you, well, 1) they’re probably watching you anyway, and 2) you’re more than likely not up to anything they’re interested in.
So come on already. Start a Gmail account and let’s get this thing going.
The reason I say use Google Drive and not just a flash drive with an Excel file on it is flash drives get lost. Okay, so I do still have a flash drive, but it’s so much more convenient to have Drive (and the Docs and Sheets apps on my iPhone).
The reason you want to put everyone you contact on a spreadsheet is twofold. You want to keep track of not only the people you contact, but what, if anything, they wrote back to you, said about you, or wrote about you. You can create fields to keep track of all that information. The other reason is if they do say something good about you, you want to be sure to utilize those people in the future. That’s assuming we’re talking about reviewers, of course. But if you have a spreadsheet tracking potential agents, you can use it to keep track of when you emailed them, when they responded, and whether or not it was positive. Just because they rejected a manuscript doesn’t mean they always will. Maybe you needed a little more seasoning or the right idea to hit them in just the right way and if it was a soft no, you can try them again versus resubmitting to the agent who responded with a form letter by mail six months after you contacted them.
With the release of Anything but Zombies from Atria Books right around the corner, I figure it’s time I found myself an agent, so I put together a spreadsheet to keep track of the people I’ve contacted so far. I’ll share it with you. It’s not the information that’s so important, about ten minutes worth of researching and you could have the same names plus some. It’s my format I think you’ll find useful. Just click this link and it’s yours. Sorry, if you don’t have a Google account, you’ll have to create one in order to access it. Again, they’ve already been watching you, so don’t worry too much.
All I ask is for a little feedback. Let me know how it’s working out for you! Copy it, download it and personalize it to do whatever you want it to do. I also have a spreadsheet to keep track of my review requests and I add to and prune that list regularly to keep it up to date and weed out the negative reviews and dead accounts. I’ve spent a lot of time creating that list and that one you will have to create on your own.