Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Query "Meme"

My friend and critique partner Jen put these questions on her blog to answer. While I'm not sure if I can answer them fully yet, since I'm not done with the query process, I'd figure I might as well start the transparency now.

Background: I sent my first query just shy of two months ago. The last set of queries I sent out were less than a week ago.

  1. What was your longest (time-wise) response to a query letter? Two of my first set, sent two months ago, are still out.
  2. Tell me your total query amount. Out of that amount, how many didn't respond at all? So far about 125 sent, about 62 still outstanding. Still, most of those are less than a month old...
  3. What's your standard habit when you get a request for a partial/full? Dancing? Singing? Or, as I like to call it here on the blog, consuming of 'da life-blood' (aka chocolate?) My first request was a full, and I drank champagne and played Guitar Hero all night with my hubby. The rest... I was very low-key about. It feels like it just prolongs the rejection one more step. I never knew I was a cynic until now.
  4. How many revisions did you put into your book before querying? Several small ones along the way (like four to the first chapter), but only one really good overall.
  5. How many revisions did you put into your query letter before sending? I wrote lots of pitches, then picked the one I liked the best; then threw it out to be critiqued and tweaked, then one more big revision.
  6. Did you ever flub up and send out a query to the wrong agent? (ROFL!) I sent one with the right agent name but the wrong agency name!
  7. What was the most mood swings you ever had in a day of querying? Rejection, then full request, then another rejection; the moods followed appropriately.
  8. Do you have a support system for your query time? How did you use them? My critique group read and offered suggestions and lots of encouragement
  9. Did you have beta readers for your draft(s)? How do you use their feedback? I had six critique partners and my sister. I ended up changing almost all of the suggestions they gave! They were able to see the weak spots I couldn't.
  10. What's the single worst part of the whole process for you? The rejections from people I really thought I had a shot with.
So that's the query update. There is still lots of waiting going on, but I'm putting the rest of the querying on hold for the holidays, and working on my next book.

While Jen has assured me that the road isn't all roses on the other side of the agent tracks, I'd still love to be there instead of here.

My greatest experience so far? An agent called after several emails to discuss possible revisions and future representation, and told me I have "tremendous talent." Those words will carry me through.


  1. Yes - those words will carry you through.

    We all know you have the talent, it is just finding the right agent for you and this work.

    Good luck on the query-pause and the new book.

  2. "query-pause" I really like that! I think I'll adopt it into my vocabulary list!

  3. I've said it before, but I have to say it again- I really like the new look of this blog. It's very tranquil, a peaceful place where I can read and relax.

  4. Ha! Cool answers!

    You wil find one, just have faith. Which you do. So you will.