Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Query Process Update

So it’s been 4 weeks since I started sending out query letters again (note the ‘again’ since this is the fifth run of queries). This is the time when I start to get antsy. I really want to know what’s going to happen. Will they ask for a full? Will they even read it? Will they even bother to reply (since that seems to be the norm for agents now a day, which I find very rude since I took the time to research them and personalize each query)? Will they offer me representation? All of these questions I wanted answered yesterday. Patience for me doesn’t come easily.

Currently I’m shopping two books: the first is a chapter book about two kids that have to save their grandfather’s museum from closing by traveling through time to collect ancient artifacts (think of it as A Night at the Museum meets The Magic Tree House); the second is a middle-grade book about two kids that discover their parents are witch hunters at the same time witches invade their school disgusted as glamorous lunch ladies (a Spy Kids meets The Witches kind of book).

Before I share my results I wanted to share how I go about sending queries. I use awesome websites like to find potential agents. I make a long list of those that are open to submissions and actually accept what I write. My goal is to find an agent that reps picture books up to YA. If they rep artists too, all the better. After my list is formed I begin to weed out the ones that wouldn’t be a good fit, this happens by researching each agent. I Google them and read what I find: interviews, blog posts, rants on Twitter and Facebook (all of it good info). It takes about a week of researching to form my list of 15-20 agents I want to send to. Once I got my list, I divide it half and start submitting.
Results from this round (so far): 

  • The Chapter book: 2 full requests followed by 2 “great story, fun characters, but not for me.” One agent, whom I really feel would be a good fit did ask for my next submission after rejecting this one. I’ve also gotten a handful of “thanks, but no thanks”.
  • The Middle-Grade book: 1 full request (by agent mentioned above) and 3 rejections (all of them very nice replies complementing the characters, storyline, ect, but not finding it the right fit).

Not bad for 4 weeks. I’ll give this round two more weeks and send out another wave of ten. Most of the agents that say, “I’m too busy to reply” are rejecting me by week 6 anyway. Really I don’t understand the “I’m too busy.” Clicking reply, typing “no”, and clicking send takes less than 10 seconds. At least then I would know they looked at it, right? Wish me luck. This is the worst part about being an author.  

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