September 21, 2011

Queries- Take your time

Once you have written your query, it is time to find an agent or a publisher. Which ever one you decide to go after, take your time and get to know everything you can about the agent or publisher before submitting your query. My first inclination is to have a cut and paste fest, copying my query from e-mail to e-mail trying to get all the queries sent out in one day so I can get back to writing. I have to force myself to slow down. http://agentquery.com, for example is one of my favorite sites. Fix yourself a cup of coffee and sit down with your computer and get to know the agents available for your genre.Take a deep breath and remember to relax. By now you should know your genre so select it and see how many agents pop up. Now I want you to think of this as a dating site. I want you to take it that seriously. Pick the best one as if submitting your query was the same as asking that person for a date. Are they your type(genre)? Do they seem interested in your style of writing (who else do they represent)? Do they look appealing to you (does the website look professional)? Open the first agents website and look around. Click about us or contact us and find out more about each agent. If you write horror and you submit your query to the agent in charge of romance that hates horror, you just wasted your time and hers and even if there is someone else in the agency that handles horror, you can bet your query will not be passed along. If you write romance and you find two or three agents in this office handle romance, check out what else each agent covers. Perhaps one of them is more suited to your story. Submit your query to this persons attention. If the e-mail for this person is not listed, try the first letter of their first name and their complete last name @theagencyname.com or however they addressed their query e-mail replacing info or query with the agents name. Check the site for submission requirements and follow them to the letter. Leaving out any portion of the requirement will mean throwing away your opportunity with this agent. If they ask for the first ten pages of your book, do not send them page eleven because your chapter ends on that page. The query itself can only be one page in length. This is very important. If they only accept snail mail submissions do not sent them an e-mail. If they only accept e-mail queries, do not call them with questions, follow the guidelines. Follow the same formula for publishers. Get a feel for them. If they don't sound like they want your type of story, don't submit your query there. Send your best query to the best possible match. If you both decide you like each other you could be together for a very long time. Enjoy your search and best of luck!