Monday, February 17, 2014

Query Balancing Act

I assume after I have a dozen or so posts under my belt the direction of this blog will be a little more clear. I'd like to include some agent interviews, writer resources, query critiques and tales from the querying trenches eventually, but since I have to start somewhere I figured I'd start with one of my own querying struggles; how many is too many?

If you're like me, the day you finish a manuscript is the day you want to send it off to agents. But that, of course, is a very, very bad idea. Why? Because you need to revise, maybe engage some critique partners, work on a query letter, revise that, compile your dream list of agents, etc...and all that can't be done in a day, as much as you want it to.

But once you've gone through however many of these steps as you intend to, then comes the next question (and the itchy, twitchy cursor hovering over the "send email" button); what agents to send to first? For me, this is always a struggle.

My first reaction is to send to all my top agent picks, because they're my top picks. But then again, this is the very first round of queries. And you might get feedback from agents even if it's through a rejection, and wouldn't it be great to have those notes to revise your query for the next round? So what to do, what to do? I think we all have queries we would love to be able to take back and resend, but that's not how the game works. Unless you significantly revise/change your manuscript, you typically don't get to requery agents.

So who do you choose? That is entirely up to you, but personally, I went with querying agents who are known to give personalized responses, even to rejections. They are all great agents, and agents I would LOVE to work with, but even if it's a "pass," at least then I'll still likely have some notes to move forward with and make my query stronger for the next round.

So that's what I did. Now I just need to control my twitchy cursor from sending out queries to the rest of my list while I wait.