How do you organize your queries?

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work

How do you organize your queries?

Postby Regan Leigh » 17 Jan 2011, 20:59

How do you organize your queries?

I have new goals for myself in 2011. (Which is why I have less time for forums like this. :( ) One of my goals will approach shortly... because it's soon to be query time.

I've only submitted stories to journals and magazines, so I have no real idea how best to organize myself in a process this big. Anyone willing to share tips? I'm thinking that -- besides a website where I can plug in my info like Query Tracker -- I want to have an excel sheet of my own.

Here are the things I thought to include:

Name of agent
Name of agency
The area they concentrate in and any helpful info I found online
An estimated response time, if given
The date I query them
Comment section maybe where I put the status? Like R vs Full request?
Email and/or mailing address

What am I forgetting or leaving out? Any other system work for you?

Thanks for any input you can pass my way... :)
Image
User avatar
Regan Leigh
 
Posts: 207
Joined: 15 Jan 2010, 02:24

Re: How do you organize your queries?

Postby HillaryJ » 17 Jan 2011, 23:30

Regan,

That's pretty much my spreadsheet in full, developed over the course of two querying sessions. I also color-coded my spreadsheet for full/rejection/request. And then I comment on the request - whether it was met with a form rejection, extended request, request for revision/resubmit, request to send anything in the future, etc.

My first column is for submission wave. I sent mine in batches of 5-10, usually mixing dream agents with medium interest (the interest level being mine :) ) agents. I got to wave three for my first project, and this was a good way for me to track a revamped query letter.

Querytracker.net is helpful, but I liked an old-fashioned spreadsheet for manipulation purposes.

Good luck!
Blog http://www.hillaryjacques.blogspot.com
Twitter http://www.twitter.com/hillaryjacques
CARNIEPUNK - http://books.simonandschuster.com/Carni ... 1476714158
as Regan Summers - The Night Runner series from Carina Press
User avatar
HillaryJ
 
Posts: 434
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 17:22
Location: Alaska

Re: How do you organize your queries?

Postby Holly » 18 Jan 2011, 05:25

I just entered Queryland ths weekend and sent ten submissions.

You have some good categories. I'm using QueryTracker, plus my own spreadsheet. QueryTracker is handy, but all the little face icons throw me off. Once you register on the site, read the comments under each agent -- they include a few warnings and how the agent interacts with people.

I'm also bookmarking agency websites in one folder. It's important to remind myself to go slow and take the time to read interviews for every single agent -- find out how long they've been an agent (QueryTracker doesn't say) and get a sense for their preferences. After just ten submissions, some of the agents have blended together in my mind.

Good luck to everybody.
User avatar
Holly
 
Posts: 500
Joined: 21 Dec 2009, 19:42
Location: Gettysburg, PA

Re: How do you organize your queries?

Postby HillaryJ » 18 Jan 2011, 10:54

Holly wrote:You have some good categories. I'm using QueryTracker, plus my own spreadsheet. QueryTracker is handy, but all the little face icons throw me off. Once you register on the site, read the comments under each agent -- they include a few warnings and how the agent interacts with people.



Seconded. I do not love the angry "rejection" face, and I am perplexed by why the "offer of representation" face is wearing sunglasses.
Blog http://www.hillaryjacques.blogspot.com
Twitter http://www.twitter.com/hillaryjacques
CARNIEPUNK - http://books.simonandschuster.com/Carni ... 1476714158
as Regan Summers - The Night Runner series from Carina Press
User avatar
HillaryJ
 
Posts: 434
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 17:22
Location: Alaska

Re: How do you organize your queries?

Postby Holly » 18 Jan 2011, 11:31

That's the same face that shows up when you win the game Minesweeper... make it past all the mines and an Elvis-type smiley face with shades shows up. No thanks...
User avatar
Holly
 
Posts: 500
Joined: 21 Dec 2009, 19:42
Location: Gettysburg, PA

Re: How do you organize your queries?

Postby Regan Leigh » 18 Jan 2011, 21:20

Thank you for the replies. :) You guys are great! :) I'll let you know if I come up with anymore things to add to the spreadsheet. (And how the querying goes whenever I send some out!)
Image
User avatar
Regan Leigh
 
Posts: 207
Joined: 15 Jan 2010, 02:24

Re: How do you organize your queries?

Postby J R McLemore » 21 Jan 2011, 11:30

I'm a computer programmer (by day--writer by night :D), so I wrote a program to keep track of my submissions. With it, I can enter information about the stories I have written (title, genre, word count, type--short story, novel, etc.); markets I want to query (magazine/publisher's name, type of medium--e-zine, print mag, both, etc., genres they accept, turn around time, etc.); and then, I put these together to create submission records for each location I send a story. When I receive a response, I can update that particular submission record by filling in what the response was (form rejection, personal rejection--in addition to the message the editor jotted, etc.) and the program will apply date formats for me to show what the actual response time was. All of these records are presented to me in a historical report format so I can open any prior submission to see where the story was submitted previously and what the status was, if that information exists. There's more functionality to the application, like showing a list off all of the stories I've entered and what their status is (never submitted, pending response, accepted, etc.) that can be filtered to show me certain criteria I want to know about a given story.

Before I ever submitted my first story, I heard other writers discussing keeping their submissions organized, so I decided to write this custom application for myself to help me with organization. While writing it, and submitting, I tweaked the program to provide more functionality as it became desirable. I've given a copy to one of my writer friends and he seems to enjoy using. I've been thinking about adding it to my website as a free download for any other writers who might like to use it (free of charge and for use as-is). My only concern, however, is that people will want to contact me requesting additional functionality or to provide bug reports. I want to spend my personal time writing stories and not computer code. Therefore, I haven't made it available to the general public. If anyone wants to play with a copy to see if it might help them keep track of their submissions, you can email me and I will send you one.
I enjoy writing horror, noir, and crime dramas. Visit my website to read some of my work, http://www.jrmclemore.com.
User avatar
J R McLemore
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 08 May 2010, 08:57
Location: Rome, Georgia

Re: How do you organize your queries?

Postby mepatterson » 22 Jan 2011, 20:58

I'm in the same camp as JR. I tried out querytracker and it seemed too clunky and complicated for what I wanted, so I built a streamlined web tool for myself a couple years ago that I could use when i was at work on my office computer ... if you want to try it out, I recently made it public at bigauthor.com and added some social stuff to it. I'd love any feedback you might have.

~~mep
mepatterson
 
Posts: 2
Joined: 21 Jan 2011, 15:27


Return to All Things Finding An Agent

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest