I have been working through Publisher's Marketplace and Querytracker lately, looking at what agents represent what I write. I have started a spreadsheet to keep track, been looking up agents of authors I love, getting the last tweaks done on my query and am about to start sending them out.
I remembered someone saying once that they ranked their agents - top third, middle third, bottom third. Then they would query some from each category with each batch of queries they sent out. I get the top and the middle - sometimes an agent has ended up in my middle category because I haven't found out enough about them, but from what I know, we could be a good match.
But I don't understand why someone would send a query to someone they put in their bottom third. First, it's rude to waste their time if you aren't really excited about them (went on a blind date once - the guy said FOUR words to me in the two hours we were out. Thankfully there was another couple...)
Really, each author is looking for something different in an agent and vice versa, but if there is someone that gets put on the list for whatever reason that you aren't excited about...? It's like kissing a sibling - yes, you get the kiss, but there really isn't anything exciting about it.
I tell my high school students all the time that while being attracted to a person shouldn't be the only reason to date them, there does have to be some kind of attraction. You want to close your eyes during a kiss because of choice, not to block out the face attached to the lips. I think the same idea should be applied to agent lists, but what makes an agent attractive is the way they represent themselves online, who they represent, their sales records, etc.
What do you think? Have you queried an agent that was in your bottom third? Any other query advice for me?