Querying and Querying

Two posts today:  I got behind again.  No, still no job.  :P

I love:  querying.

I had a lot of fun working out how to query my book.  My favorite part was thinking up ways to describe it in just a paragraph, not an easy task with a multi-protagonist story.   Searching for agencies that handled books like mine turned into a puzzle.  But actually sending off queries makes you feel kinda like a real writer.

A successful query starts with an excellent product, the writing.  Make sure your material is at its best—properly formatted, error-free, and edited to within an inch of its life.  Target your queries appropriately too.  Don’t waste time trying to get an agent or publisher who specializes in romance novels or stories interested in your horror book.

Come to think of it, this just might sell.

Original image: Victor Habbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Don’t get discouraged, either.  You may not get a bite because your work isn’t good enough yet, but also because there are only so many slots and too many great stories to fill them.  Set a limit for yourself and once you’ve reached it, move on.

You should be working on your next project while you’re querying one, so you have something to distract you from chewing your fingernails to the bone.   If an agent does contact you, she’s likely to ask what else you’re working on.  You’ll be able to say “I have this, and this.”

I’m no expert, but here are a few articles that made querying easier for me.

Writing the Query Letter Parts 1-5 by Elana Johnson

Anne Mini’s blog Author! Author!  Damn near everything you need to know about formatting, querying, and editing can be found here.  She responds to comments and although her posts are long they are worth reading.

Pub Rants, a blog by agent Kristin Nelson.  Anytime you can get advice from an actual agent, even if he/she doesn’t represent your type of book, it’s like gold.

Preditors and Editors  – an online resource allowing you to check out agencies, publishers, etc. for complaints.  Before you query an agency, look it up here.

Writer Beware – another cautionary site with alerts for writers.


Q Thing I hate:  Querying.  Feels like applying for jobs.  Oh wait….IT IS.  Constant rejection makes you feel like you suck.  Maybe I do right now; the only cure for that is more writing.

Writer-in-training. Is probably already better than I am.

Image: Umut Kemal / SXC.hu


2 thoughts on “Querying and Querying

  1. This is something I need to start doing—very soon. And no job for me either, but I haven’t been looking lately. Too bad I don’t get paid to to the A to Z Challenge–it’s kind of like a job.

    Places I Remember
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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