You know what’s the best feeling in the world? Seeing this beacon of hope in your inbox, in response to your query letter:
Sounds intriguing! Please send me the first 30 pages and a synopsis as Word document attachments. I look forward to reading your material!
You know what’s the worst feeling? Seeing this follow-up in your inbox a couple weeks later:
Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to read your submission. I appreciate you considering me for representation of your work. Unfortunately, after careful review, I have decided to pass on this submission.
As the tide of rejection letters continues to roll in, I thought I’d share a few tips for everyone like me who is currently in the novel querying stage. These are sites that have helped me immeasurably to keep track of all my non-progress:
Query Tracker – If you are in the querying stage and you haven’t visited this site yet, DO IT. This site will give you, in a nutshell, pretty much every agent known to man, the genres they’re looking for, and even average query response times. Then, when you query an agent, you can use this site to keep track of agents you’ve already queried, and update your “status” as to whether the agent sent a rejection, manuscript request, or offer of representation. It’s an invaluable tracking tool. http://www.querytracker.net
Writers Digest – In the site’s editor blogs, check out Chuck Sambuchino’s “Guide to Literary Agents”. His blog features agents and their specific wish lists and submission guidelines, as well as “New Literary Agent Alerts”. Folks, new literary agents are GOLD. They don’t have a client list built up yet, which means they are far more eager to find new talent than established agents. You can find Chuck’s blog here: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents
Publishers Marketplace –This site is basically THE one-stop-shop for all publishing news. It provides full agent contact information, and a list of every author/novel each agent represents. This site also reports every book deal, which agent closed that deal, whether it’s a multi-book deal, and the approximate “value” (rated on a scale of “nice deal” to “major deal”). There’s a monthly fee to be a member, however, so take that into consideration. In my opinion, it’s worth it to sign up for one month, soak up all the information you can, and take into account which agents seem to be the “best bet” (aka has closed on deals, most aligns with your genre based on books they rep, etc.) http://www.publishersmarketplace.com
I hope you find these tips somewhat useful, and I wish you the best of luck in your pursuit of publication! Now, roll up those sleeves, and go get that YES!
Until Next time,