• Query Hell

    Okay folks! I’m officially querying. For those of you who are old pros, how did you handle the stress? I want to check my email every five seconds!

    Since I can’t back away from my computer, I’m doing two things to keep me busy:

    1. Rewriting my synopsis. Hopefully someone will ask for it!
    2. Working on my new WIP. It’s a good distraction…sort of.

    If any of you have tips about how you dealt with Query Hell, please share! There are plenty of people who will be stepping up to the plate soon and would love to hear your thoughts.

    Happy Monday!
  • Best Query Advice Ever

    Like every other unpublished/unagented author in the world I’m struggling with my query. I’ve tried Query Critique on writer’s digest and sent it to my writer’s group. I’ve got some very conflicting advice.

    • “Why didn’t you list your publishing credits?” (Because I didn’t think they applied)

    • “Why didn’t you start with a personalized blurb about the agent?” (Because Query Shark says not to, although Nathan Bransford says to do it).

    • “Why didn’t you start with an agent hook?” (I thought I did…oops?)

    • “Why haven’t you edited this?” (I have. And every time I change it they all come out sounding sort of the same.)

    I wasn’t happy with either of the queries that I’d written (and apparently not edited 🙂 so I went online and looked for more help.

    Found it! If you take the MadLib from Bransford blog, combine it with all Query Sharks’s advice, and then mix a few words from the creator of QueryTracker.net, Elana Johnson, you get a pretty unique formula for a query with a good voice.

    Johnson suggests you…wait for it…write your query from your character’s point of view. GASP! I know, I know. It’s one of the biggest no-nos of query writing. But, once you’ve got the voice nailed down go back and rewrite it in third person. She says it’s not hard.

    I’ll try it and let you all know how it works out.

    Until then…have a peaceful, productive, holiday season.

  • I Did Something Different Today…

    This post has nothing to do with the fact that I wore jeans today instead of knit work-out pants (even though I did).

    I’ve been writing almost two thousand words per day and I’m exhausted. My brain has turned to oatmeal and my calves ache (that’s because I stand while I type…explanation will have to wait for another day).

    Instead of cranking out the next three chapters of “Saw It Coming,” I did something even more ridiculous. I compiled a list of my “Top Ten Most Wanted Agents.” Crazy, huh? My manuscript isn’t finished, nor edited, nor rewritten, but hey…why not decide which agents I want to query first!

    I grabbed my handy-dandy Nook (this is not an advertisement, although it was invaluable), and went to the “Acknowledgement” sections of all my favorite books. Authors always acknowledge their agents – as well they should – and I googled all the names I found.

    With the help of Excel I created a sheet that included:
    • Agents name
    • Agency
    • Email address
    • Submission requirements
    • Personal info about the agent (likes, dislikes, college background, etc.)
    • Authors the rep

    I’ll eventually add two more columns for the date each query is sent and the agent’s response (or lack there of).

    Since I’ll probably be rejected by all of those people (I’m trying to build a thick skin before I need it) I can add to the list by tens. Then I can rotate through the list as I finish and “perfect” each potential novel until I find an agent.

    What methods do you have for finding agents and tracking queries? Anyone use QueryTracker.net?