Wednesday, January 27, 2010

On Your Mark, Get Set, GO!

Well, I did it. I finished all my line edits and my chapter realignment. And because I was in such an inspired mood I sent out queries to seven agents. TA DA.

Now for the bad news, of those seven, three agents wanted query, synopsis and chapter one. Stupid me forgot to take that line out of the query, "I would be delighted to send you the synopsis and first three chapters" which I could have said, "Enclosed you will find...blah blah blah". So much for not being a newbie. I hope they take pity on me and realize it's a multiple submission and I just forgot to change the format of the letter. (Can you hear me slamming my head against the desk.) However, it was only three agents.

Okay, let me tell you what I did -- Of the seven, five were agents I queried when I was stupid six months ago. Two of those agents said on their websites it was okay to re-query if you had done substantial revisions and enough time had passed. Chuck Sambuchino said the same thing (Guide to Literary Agents). Two of the agents were brand new, however one of those was one where I made the dreaded "I'll send you" mistake. I queried one of the same agencies I had before but this time I queried a different agent. I received one auto-reply "Thank you for your query, it's been received in our office, we'll-get-to-it-when-we-can type of things." Which I thought was very nice and polite and she actually is one of my dream agents.

Now Chuck also said, (I love Chuck, he's so smaht [smart -- for those of you who don't speak with a Boston accent]) that you should only query 7 - 10 agents at a time. BECAUSE you don't want to mass query everyone and then find after all the 50 are done you have no agents left in the pool. So you query ten at a time, wait, sort of, for those answers to come back, work on the next book, and as the rejections start coming in, send out that many more queries. 10 out, 5 back, 5 out, 3 back, 3 out. get it? BECAUSE if you send out 15 and one of those 15 wants to sign, you don't have any more queries to send out and you don't have to write a whole lot of agents and say, "Sorry I signed with so & so." Pretty ingenious huh. Wish I'd thought of it.

And someone said, I forget who, that it's better to query during the middle of the week rather than at the beginning or end. Monday's are too busy, Friday's are too busy. Tues, Wed, Thurs, agents know they have to read them and so they settle in to look for something good. If you could also time it to have the query fall into the inbox on Friday night, you might get a shot at getting read on Saturday. But you can't always be sure. And that might just get pushed to Monday which you don't want to happen.

So, there we are gentle readers, my query stats. I will keep you posted on what happens. However if I get 7 rejections within the week we will have to consider a serious chocolate party come Saturday.

And what are you doing today???


Davin Malasarn said...

Anne, Congratulations! It looks like you made some outstanding progress. Even with the query letter mistake, you have a lot to be proud of with all of your revisions. Good luck in getting what you want!

Nicole Ducleroir said...

Every one of your query and edit/revision posts inspires me! Congrats and best of luck getting signed!!!!!

Teebore said...

Congrats indeed! Color me jealous.

On the subject of rejections, I, sadly, thirst for them. I sent out a few queries last year (before I realized my query needed major revisions) fully expecting nothing but rejections, and I didn't even get that. Just silence.

In terms of baby steps (or to continue the video game metaphor, the next level), I'm actually excited about querying and getting rejection letters, just because I feel like that's the next level I need to beat before advancing to a better one.

Simon C. Larter said...

Actually, I'd kind of like to have to write a bunch of agents and tell 'em I signed with someone. In fact, when you get an offer, you get to do that awesome thing where you e-mail all the agents with your query and tell them it's their last chance to hop on the boat and make an offer. AWesomeness, that. :)

Piedmont Writer said...

Davin -- Thank you, that's high praise coming from a man of your high caliber. I'm glad you're in my corner.

Nicole -- C'mon baby, I know you can do it too! You've got to jump in sometime.

Teebore -- I had silence last year as well and that was worse than the rejections. I hear you loud and clear. I'm just hoping with this set of rejections I get some decent feedback. I really wish one of them would say, "with a little of this, or that, we would love to have you resubmit." You know.

Simon -- I didn't know that. That is Awesome. I'll have to read a few more agent blogs (Janet, Kristin, Nathan) to see what they have to say. Does that mean I have to re-write the query??? Please say no.

Lady Glamis said...

Everyone makes mistakes with querying. No biggie.

Yes, I think it's like betas. I send my book out to a few first, then the other few after I've received feedback from the first. Because then I'm getting different feedback that can help me push forward instead of wasting too many people's time.

You may get feedback off a partial or a full from an agent, see mistakes you can fix, and then query more agents after you've made things better.

Good luck, sweetie! This is such a long process. I'm praying for patience for both of us. :)

Dominique said...

Congratulations on the progress you've made. I'm impressed.

As for the mistake, everyone makes a few mistakes along the way. Now you can learn from this one.

Piedmont Writer said...

Glam -- you'll need patience with me if I don't get a request, I'll be crying forever.

Dominique -- Thanks. I was just such a complete moronic newbie the first go round I didn't want to make such foolish mistakes again. I'm that Type-A anal kind of crazy, you know.

Falen said...

yeah i wish i was at the Query level. I'm really looking forward to it.
As for today? plugging along at WIP, and working through a new query in my head.

Piedmont Writer said...

Sarah A -- you go girl!! And I LOVE CASTLE!!!! He is such a hunk. And his name is Nathan. Can't get any better than that.

sarahjayne smythe said...


I am really impressed with your discipline and dedication.

Good luck and my good thoughts while you wait.

Piedmont Writer said...

SarahJ -- Thanks. Don't be impressed, I just have that crazy idea I have a "job" now so I'm pouring everything into it. By the time the rejections start rolling in I'll probably chuck the whole idea and go back to waitressing. NOT!