As opposed to an office or a bottle or a...well, you get the picture.
As reported previously, I have sent my query to a service on WeBook called "Agent in a Box." Before I give the update, I neglected to mention what "Agent in a Box," hereforth called AIAB, was. So, allow me to do so.
And just to save me a lot of typing, let me post what AIAB already has:
* AgentInbox is a service that connects publication-ready authors with reputable, vetted literary agents.
* AgentInbox helps you create a high-quality submission and then sends it out to the right agents, so you stand out from the sea of “slush.”
* AgentInbox includes tutorials on what agents expect and how to write perfect query letters, manuscript samples, and non-fiction book proposals.
So, basically, you get walked through the process by entering your info in the spaces provided, choose your genre--and a subgenre if you think that applies--and then a list of agents within that genre is posted. You choose as many agents as you wish--I would recommend one per submission because they don't all ask for the same things in their queries--and hit the submit button. A member of the Webook staff looks your query over, makes suggestions on how to improve the query, and you resubmit. If everything is good to go, your query is sent on to the agent(s).
These agents are legit industry representatives, most belonging to a non-profit group called the AAR, the Association of Authors Representatives. All of these agents have websites where they post their membership, about themselves and their agencies, and what authors they represent and what books they've sold. All on the up and up. If they don't follow the Canon of Ethics set down by the AAR, they ain't members; it's just that simple.
Which is where I sit right now. I found three agents that wanted the same thing--query letter, synops, first three chapters. The first round got my query sent back to me with the recommendation that I change the genre. I had originally chose "romance" with "suspense/thriller" as my subgenre. The WeBooker felt that, with my query description, it should have been the other way around. Okay. So I did. My query has passed and has gone on to the three agents I selected.
We shall see what happens next. I'll let you know. In the meantime, I poked holes in that box and put some food and water in. Gotta find a poo pan now.