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.

 

 

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Feeling Overwhelmed

And, I thought writing the novel was a daunting task. It is more fun, for sure, but editing is tedious mind-numbing work. It can become overwhelming especially to those of us new to the craft of writing novels.

Thank God we have experts to help us along the way. Janice Hardy from Fiction University is one such expert. She is my number one go-to resource.

Janice understands the complexities of self-editing and offers some great advice in her article, How to Edit a Novel Without Feeling Overwhelmed.

The six main points:

  1. Decide whether you want to edit or revise. The processes are not the same.
  2. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, so to speak. Set a word count, a number of scenes to work on and stick to it – a must when you’re working with 70,000 words plus.
  3. Don’t try to cover all the bases, focus on one thing at a time – setting, character, dialogue, and so on.
  4. Set a time limit – Time management is a biggy for me. It’s easy to get lost in the process, or become impatient.
  5. Leave the advice books on the shelf while you’re editing – love this one! It’s so easy to get caught up in the ‘how-tos’ or the ‘should’s,’ and not get a thing accomplished.
  6. Make a plan and let it be your guide – Use a calendar, spreadsheet, or whatever planning tool helps you accomplish your goal.

For more information, check out, How to Edit a Novel Without Feeling Overwhelmed.

I’d love to hear your tips. Talk to me. Tell me your story. I’m all ears and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.