I’ll admit when I started the process, I thought the most difficult part would be finding the right agent to query. Just goes to show you how much I know – zilch, zip, zero. Querying is NOT for the faint of heart. But, be encouraged––I’m going to give you my tips and what I’ve learned, so far in the process.
1. Get organized – to help you streamline the query process.
- Make sure all your materials are completed, edited, & ready to use. DO NOT query until they are. (Completed Manuscript; Synopsis, Pitch, Author Bio, and a frame-work query letter you can personalize to each agent.
- Make sure you have some method for keeping up with your queries. You need to be aware of the agent and agencies they represent – you can only query one agent in the same agency at a time. I use Query Tracker to keep up with mine (more on that later).
- Before you get query – research about agents, your genre, and familiarize yourself with the different types of submissions (snail mail, email, form) More on those later.
2. Find your agency/agent/publisher resources––some great places to start:
- Writer’s Market – online & print – Writers Market
- Publisher’s Marketplace – online; Publishers Marketplace
- Association of Authors’ Representatives, Inc. (AAR) – online; Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR)
- Manuscript Wishlist – online; http://manuscriptwishlist.com/; #MSWL on Twitter/
- Query Tracker- online; Query Tracker
- Guide to Literary Agents – online & in print; Guide to Literary Agents
3. Select a number of agents/publishers you want to query.
- Familiarize yourself with the agent: read her profile, Twitter account, Website and get a good understanding of what type of queries she or he is seeking. Knowing your agent before you write that query letter makes all the difference.
- Know how to format your materials for submission via email, mail, and online.
- Make sure you read and follow the agents specific guidelines for submissions, including what must be in the query, email, and formatting. It is different for each agent.
4. Be realistic and patient.
Do NOT expect a fast turnaround. Average time vary from agent to agents but don’t be dismayed to know that it can take 4-8 weeks for any response.
Stayed tuned, I’ll cover how to format your materials for each method of submission in the next post.
What has been your querying experience?
I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story. I’m all ears and look for me on Facebook Page at SheilaMcIntyreGood, Pinterest, Bloglovin, Twitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.