When to Query an agent

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work

When to Query an agent

Postby klbritt » 03 Feb 2012, 21:58

I'm pretty sure I know the answer to my question, but I wanted to see if there is a rule of thumb or an industry standard.

Anyway, my question is is it best to complete your novel or have a work in progress when querying an agent. For instance, you have a 40,000 word WIP that looks to be heading to the 100k area. Would you start querying at that point, or complete the novel then query...

Thanks!
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Re: When to Query an agent

Postby CharleeVale » 03 Feb 2012, 22:49

If you query with an incomplete manuscript it will be an automatic rejection.

Not only is it not finished, but it will only be in the first draft stage.

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Re: When to Query an agent

Postby klbritt » 04 Feb 2012, 08:20

I was pretty sure that was the answer, but I just wanted to be sure, thanks!!
~Kristie

-: Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read - Groucho Marx :-

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Re: When to Query an agent

Postby Quill » 04 Feb 2012, 08:33

It's not too early to begin writing the query, though. Sometimes this can help focus the writing of the novel itself. And query writing can take weeks to get right, if not months. It's a drafting process like any other. You can post it here in the query forum for feedback.

And, of course, it's not too soon to start researching which agents you will submit your query to. This can help focus the query writing.
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Re: When to Query an agent

Postby MattLarkin » 04 Feb 2012, 16:20

Quill wrote:It's not too early to begin writing the query, though. Sometimes this can help focus the writing of the novel itself.

Absolutely. Your query forces your to focus on your main idea in a few sentences. If you can't do this, you may need to refocus the novel. You may also want an elevator pitch (chances are you're going to need to describe your story to someone in one or two sentences at some point, whether an editor or someone else.)
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Re: When to Query an agent

Postby Margo » 05 Feb 2012, 20:11

It's also easier to write the query before the book because you won't have all the subplots and details packed into your head and trying to spill out onto the page. That's one of the biggest issues I've seen with queries, too much incidental crap.
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Re: When to Query an agent

Postby Falen » 16 Feb 2012, 14:23

Quill wrote:It's not too early to begin writing the query, though. Sometimes this can help focus the writing of the novel itself.


Definitely agree. I always write a rough query draft before i even start the novel draft. It helps me to keep certain themes in focus while drafting
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Re: When to Query an agent

Postby macklinvinger » 18 Jul 2012, 02:18

yes this is true .i like it
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