To Find a Backer, See Who Backed Your Competitors

I get asked for referrals to investors a lot, and since my writing has spun up I also get asked for referrals to publishers and agents.

I read a bunch of years ago some advice that seemed quite sensible for finding an agent:

Find one or two books that are just like the one you want to do, find out who agents those authors, and ping them.

Of course, no book is “just like” your baby, but there are cousins, maybe even fraternal twins.

Maybe this is terrible advice, but, like I said, it made sense to me.

And it makes sense in the investor context too.  Find one or two startups that are doing something similar or cousin-ly to what you want to do, find out who invested in those companies, and ping them.

One might say that I’m just letting myself off the hook of actually daring to refer somebody to an investor or agent I already know.  But I’ve done that.  I’ve done that enough to know that you can’t force oil and water together if they don’t want to go.

Maybe this is awful advice.  If so, please let me know and I’ll pass on your POV.

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