Querying update

Needless to say I’m a sloooow queryer. I read about people who put something out there with all guns blazing, pumping out dozens in the space of a week. I’d rather just put out a few at a time and wait for responses to come in before pushing out more. I’ve read of people who send out fifty query letters only to then find that their query letter or opening pages had some flaw that would cause nearly everyone to reject, that possibly could have been fixed a lot earlier.

For now, I’ve had two partials out (so there’s some interest – yay!), have received one form ‘R’ as well, and am waiting to hear back from the rest. The form R I didn’t feel too badly about – while the agent does rep the genre, it seems her tastes are more towards domestic cosies, which isn’t really my style. So it’s just as well. I don’t see landing an agent as taking whoever I can get – I want to work with someone who can sell books, but also likes my stuff.

Of the two partials, one has come back with an ‘r&r’ – revise and resubmit. She didn’t feel it was quite ready, but from all the threads I was lurking on about r&r’s on Absolute Write, it should still be seen as a plus! And something most of the posters had gone through at some point. I do plan to workshop it a little more and am trying out Scribophile. Finding a good critique site can be tricky – some posters go too easy on you, while others are more concerned with their own snark than anything else, or the site itself can be hard to navigate (I have major issues with a lot of sites on one browser, and am not techie enough to fix it).

Doing substantial revisions based on what comes down to one opinion can be risky (especially when the advice is on the vague side and given the subjectivity of writing in general) but I don’t see the harm in giving something one more run-through with readers, etc. if it results in something better.

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Querying again

I sent out maybe five query letters last fall for one novel I’ve finished, and heard back from about three. So I’m forcing myself to start following agents on my new twitter account and next will be looking up my password for Agent Query Connect and so on.

Sometimes I don’t know what I’m waiting for – a stock market crash? Mercury to come out of Retrograde? Someone next week on YA Writers in Reddit is going to be critiquing queries, so I’m going to submit it and see what they have to say. I tried #Pitmad on Twitter and got no bites, but each time I clicked ‘refresh’ there where 300-400 new tweets. If I were an agent, I might do a search for something super-specific like “Magic Ponies” or “Werewolf Bartenders” and otherwise …I’d probably only check out whatever my colleagues and friends were favouriting. I can only imagine what their inboxes must look like.

It’s impossible to know what will hook someone even after researching their blog, twitter feed, client list or Goodreads profile, especially when every aspect can’t be included in a 200-word pitch. Especially when you’re one of hundreds. According to some query advice sites, a *really* good query letter should get a 75% request rate, though. While I have no clue whether that’s true or not, some authors do get multiple requests right away, even if no one ends up liking the manuscript. So they’re doing something right that’s eluded me so far. Hopefully I’ll figure it out.