What I’ve Learned About Querying

Querying tips

I’ve been as invisible as a ghost over the last month because I entered the maze of querying agents for my manuscript, Hello Hell. Let me tell you, it can be a scary place if you don’t know what you’re doing or follow the process as outlined by every, single, agent. So, here’s a few tips, I’ve learned aloong the way. Feel free to share your own.

  1. Pick your resources: Writer’s Digest, MSWL, Querytracker, or Writer’s Market.
  2. Identify those agents open for submissions and who are requesting manuscripts in your genre.
  3. Publications don’t always tell the whole story related to a specific agent, so do your reasearch.
  4. Make a list. Note siginifcant specifics about each agent.
  5. Read the agents profile, website, Twitter account and any other site they provide to get a good feel for whether he/she might be a good fit. For example, a profile may list they are interested in womne’s fiction but when you did deeper, there is a very specific type of women’s fiction they are interested in. Unless your manuscipt fits within that narrow scope, mark them off your list.
  6. Read through the agency, research all the agents listed, the books they have published, and their submission guidelines. 
  7. Perfect your query again and again. Don’t write one and think it will serve all. Some agents are very particular regarding what they want to see in a querying and the layout. So, be prepared to have numerous versions as you gothrough the process.
  8. Keep track of each query sent to each agent. This is important because you can’t querying more than one agent within an agency. So, pay attention to your list. I use Query Tracker which provides valuable insight into an agent:  response times, genre reports, percentage of responses, and the number of negative and positive responses. 
  9. Setup reminders to followup (nudge an agent) or to mark a query as closed. Some agents specify that after x number of weeks, “assume we have reviewed your work and are going to pass on it.”
  10. Understand querying is a process. It’s takes time, patience, and a thick skin. Whether an agent likes your work or not is often subjective. So keep things in perspective and don’t take a rejection personally.

Hope these tips help and if you have a tip, please share with us in the comment section. Good luck.

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, PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

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Before You Query ​- Tips

Be Calm and Query On

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.

TIPS:

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:

 3.  Select a number of agents/publishers you want to query.

  1. 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.
  2. Know how to format your materials for submission via email, mail, and online.
  3. 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 SheilaMcIntyreGoodPinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.