Tales from the Query Front

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
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drbarre11
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Tales from the Query Front

Post by drbarre11 » December 8th, 2009, 6:30 pm

My Name is Dave. I go by the online name drbarre11
I don't know if this is the section to place this post but I'll leave that up to Nathan.

I titled this post "Tales from the Query Front" because I think we need a place to go to share our stories. A place to recharge our batteries after the latest rejection letter arrived. I would even like to see a section where people can share their success stories but I'll leave that up to the administrator.

I am a first time author not yet published and I have had my fair share of non responses, partials denied and fulls rejected, more than I care to actually admit. I've lurked around blogs and other writing websites, picked through their discusses without really putting myself out there. It's very easy to stay on the sidelines especially when you're new to all this. For some reason this website seemed to connect with me, even though I've been following Nathan's blog for awhile, and I thought it was time to get in the game.

If I can tell you anything it's this, and please keep in mind I am going through the same thing you are, do not give up hope!
You have done something that a lot of people have not done - YOU WROTE A BOOK!

But not matter if you've written the best damn book that the world has even read you still have to go through the process of finding and agent and it can be a daunting, frustrating, hair pulling task - if you let it.

This is not to say that there were not times I wanted to burn my book to the query Gods as an offering to find an agent. (I just burned the first page and accidently singed my fingers:)) It was not until I read a post on some random website where the unpublished author said that they knew they were going to get rejected even before they sent the query letter. Kids, it's this simple; you get what you ask for. A shitty attitude will usually bleed into your query letter and will be evident to the agent. This is a process and from this process comes knowledge and from this knowledge you will land yourself the agent that was meant to represent your book.

Sorry this is so long, but before I go I want to share what I consider a success story with you.
About two weeks ago I received an invitation to submit my novel to one of my dream agents. I made sure it was all prime and proper and sent it out on a Friday. To my surprise, on Monday morning, the agent responded that she read the full over the weekend. (what happened to 6 to 8 weeks?) She said my storytelling was vast and kept her glued to the pages all weekend but she did not think she was the agent for it, but with the right agent I could have a wonderful success on my hands.

Was I pissed? No. Because I knew I was on the right track.

Keep plugging away and know that their your future agent is waiting to fall in love with your book.

If you have any stories to share or you want to blow off some steam just reply to this post.

Thanks
Dave

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Lorelei Armstrong
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Re: Tales from the Query Front

Post by Lorelei Armstrong » December 8th, 2009, 7:15 pm

Great idea! The last lunatic query experience was the rejection letter that took sixteen months to arrive. In the interval I had sold the book and seen it come out in hardback. Pulling that SASE out of the mailbox was a profoundly weird experience. Tip to agents: we'll assume that no news is bad news. After six months we're not expecting a response. After sixteen? You're just hurting our brains.

casnow
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Re: Tales from the Query Front

Post by casnow » December 9th, 2009, 12:12 am

I heartily welcome the rejection letter! Form Rejection? Awesome! I'm too busy for you? Excellent! I only represent chic lit? That's not what your website said, but Superb!

Because, if I get a rejection letter daily it means that after sitting on a novel I started years ago that I finally took the time to finish it, write the query, research agents, and send it out.

Maybe this first one isn't the story that will be the breakthrough, but learning the ropes of doing the querying and finding out what it involves is a valuable one (to me anyway).

Actually, I just got a fresh rejection in my Inbox - Excellent! (see response above)

Cheers,

Cam

Dakota388
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Re: Tales from the Query Front

Post by Dakota388 » December 9th, 2009, 11:21 pm

Does everyone get that same lump in their throat when the see a new email message with an agents name? I almost hate to open it because prior to that moment, I still had hope. I constantly work at my query letter but have been unable to get any positive responses. But I replied here to tell you how I received my fastest rejection yet, yesterday. Sent at 11:30 AM, rejected at 11:45. Now that's service. Previously my record was from Nathan (aarrrggghh!) which was sent in the morning and rejected that evening. Good luck to you all.
"The Light of Epertase"-A fantasy novel coming August 1st from Rhemalda Publishing

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Tales from the Query Front

Post by Nathan Bransford » December 9th, 2009, 11:26 pm

Dakota388 wrote:Does everyone get that same lump in their throat when the see a new email message with an agents name? I almost hate to open it because prior to that moment, I still had hope. I constantly work at my query letter but have been unable to get any positive responses. But I replied here to tell you how I received my fastest rejection yet, yesterday. Sent at 11:30 AM, rejected at 11:45. Now that's service. Previously my record was from Nathan (aarrrggghh!) which was sent in the morning and rejected that evening. Good luck to you all.
Yeah, I've been there. I had to query agents for JACOB WONDERBAR and the waiting is really, really hard. Just rest assured that the speed of the rejection doesn't have anything to do with whether it was an easy or difficult decision for the agent to make. The only variable is when the agent happens to have time to read it. I have responded to people in a few minutes with both partial requests and rejections - that's just when I read it. I know some people don't like to hear back so quickly, but I'd rather err on the side of just letting everyone know as soon as possible.

Dakota388
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Re: Tales from the Query Front

Post by Dakota388 » December 9th, 2009, 11:33 pm

Yeah, I've been there. I had to query agents for JACOB WONDERBAR and the waiting is really, really hard. Just rest assured that the speed of the rejection doesn't have anything to do with whether it was an easy or difficult decision for the agent to make. The only variable is when the agent happens to have time to read it. I have responded to people in a few minutes with both partial requests and rejections - that's just when I read it. I know some people don't like to hear back so quickly, but I'd rather err on the side of just letting everyone know as soon as possible.[/quote]

Nathan, trust me when I say I actually prefer to hear back right away. I don't question whether my query was given a fair shot nearly as much as I worry that it was never received.
"The Light of Epertase"-A fantasy novel coming August 1st from Rhemalda Publishing

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