Sending Queries

My agent retired at the end of the year so I’m sending out queries again trying to find a new one. I had to give myself a pep talk in order to start a new round of querying. I know I’m in store for a lot of rejection. If I added up the number of agents I’ve queried since I started writing (35 years ago) I’d be in triple digits, easily. I really hate having to start this all over again. Hence, the pep talk. “If you want other people to enjoy your writing, Anna-Maria, you need to show it to them.” Why can’t agents and editors find me while I’m holed up in my writing cave? Shouldn’t my brilliance attract them, like magnets to iron ore?

I’ve got three novels I’m querying on so I had to write three query letters. One is bad enough, but three? Ugh. Synopses and queries are my least favorite thing to write. Needed another pep talk. “Once you get these done, Anna-Maria, you can use them over and over… and over (thinking of all the rejections headed my way) with just minor tweaks to personalize the query letter.” Just grin and bear it and get it done. So I did. (Actually, they came together fairly smoothly. I stressed about nothing. Or else I’m finally getting better at writing these things. I’ve had a lot of practice, after all.)

Next, I put together a list of agents. I had done some research on agents about a month ago, so I dug that out. Then I added some agents who had given me some good feedback in the past. I went through my list and picked out the ones I wanted to approach first. FInally, I checked out their web sites to verify what their submissions requirements were.

I sent 2-4 email queries on each novel to different agents. Believe it or not, I’ve already gotten one rejection.That’s the trouble with email queries. The rejections are easier and faster for the agents to make. But on the plus side I also got one request for a partial. That was a needed reward for all of my hard work. You’ve got to celebrate the small stuff. I got the partial sent out the same day. And now I need to wait a couple of months to see if they want to see the whole manuscript. God, this is such a slow business.

The other agencies I queried have longer response times, anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months. And then there are those who only respond if they are interested. How long do you give them? I’m not going to wait until I hear back on this first round of queries. I’m going to continue sending them out until I find another agent. I just hope my querying won’t have to hit triple digits again before I find a new one.

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