Here’s an excellent piece of advice I was given about finding an agent, today. Find the agents which fit your writing/genre, then look down your shortlist and apply to new agencies, ie anything under 5 years old. The bonuses are clear…
Most new agencies are started up by experienced agents from larger agencies gone solo. As an unknown, fledgling writer, you won’t get a graduate trainee or somebody with one year’s experience. If they take you on, your agent is likely to be a great deal more knowledgeable than anyone you’d get at a larger agency.
They’ll try harder, they are out there to make a name for themselves as well as you.
They will be less well known so you may only be up against a thousand or so other writers pitching for that one slot rather than the two or three thousand you’ll be up against pitching to a larger agency.
This advice came from a London publisher – he publishes text books but he’s still a publisher. He also recommends writing consultants, you pay but they, too, are often go-it-alone publishing professionals with excellent contacts among agents and publishers.
Food for thought, anyway.