How To Keep Up With Queries

September 21, 2020

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Hello! I was overwhelmed with how many of you gained something out my query letter, and I’m so pleased some of you copied it, shared it and even emailed me to personally request editorial services etc. I haven’t yet worked out how to email you back individually, but I will do!

As promised, here is the graph (at the very bottom of this blog) which has helped me navigate the literary querying process. Funny, I don’t know how I used to query without it. I think I just lost count. LOL.

Anyway, I’m ALL over this one. This is just a snapshot of some of the agents I sent to in the beginning from June 1- June 17 and how I structured their responses. (I’ve also kept every single email from every reject, on advice from author Tess Woods!)

It’s pretty straight forward to understand, but I’ve highlighted the agents who have fair and square given me a N-O.

Below are my little keys and what they stand for. Without these, I would forget who is getting back to me, who wants me to try again with another agent in their agency, who will not respond at all.

(R) stands for “Respond”. As in, they will respond to me, at some stage (usually this time-frame is stated on their website).

(NR) stands for “No Response.” So, if they state on their site that they will request the full manuscript between 8-12 weeks, and then don’t, I can assume it’s a pass from them.

(8) or (10) or (12) is the time-frame they will respond by. Really handy for restraining myself from constantly checking emails.

(GIT) I also write down GIT which means they ask you to “Get In Touch” with them if they haven’t responded in the time-frame they said they would. It means you can give them a gentle nudge. “Hey, did you receive my MS I sent 8 weeks ago???” Maybe a little more professional than that.

  • Rejections- This column stands for the generic rejections (one where they literally may not have even read it).
  • Communicate- This column is my “hopeful” column. The one that meant, even if they rejected me, they did so personally and with feedback such as, “I liked your premise, but the structure isn’t fast-paced enough.” Or, “I really admire your voice, but I don’t think this is suited for my list.” I needed these during the times I was getting flat-out rejections.
  • Full Man- Obviously this means they requested the full and I’ve added the days/weeks it took for them to request it.
  • No response- This means they either didn’t want to know me, or they’re too busy to respond to every query.

The graph may not work for all, but its certainly helped me to stay on top of my queries and to evaluate how my MS gaining interest. I especially enjoyed writing down how many days/weeks until each agent responded to me, as I hear all too often how difficult it is to get noticed and how long people have had to wait for any attention. I still may be waiting a while longer, though!

Since my last blog, I’ve also had another London agent request the full manuscript, so that’s 11 now!

I hope this little spreadsheet/chart helps, and that you craft something like it when you’re about to embark on the querying/submission journey. Like I said, if I didn’t have this, I would NOT be able to stay on track.

Next up, I want to blog about the Curtis Brown Course and how much I’m learning so far— only 2 weeks in!

Sneak peek the spreadsheet below.

Thanks for stopping by.

Holly

 

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