Querying Journey: Updates as of March 2023 from the Querying Trenches

Some numbers so far:
The first query was sent on January 23rd
Sent a total of 24 queries between Jan 23 and Feb 13
2 full requests, one has already passed, and one is still pending as of the time I’m recording this
5 have lapsed the standard 42-day wait window so assuming a pass with those
12 rejections – ouch (well actually 13 since the one agent who asked for a full then passed – extra ouch)
And the rest I am still waiting for a response or for that 42 past period to expire

Here is what I’ve learned so far and my experience so far. If you are a published author or agent watching this and I have something incorrect – PLEASE COMMENT WITH A TIP!! Help me!! Thanks

What is a query package?:
That package is the query letter, the synopsis, and the sample pages. Each agent asks for something different. Some have also asked for a one-line pitch, some have asked for the bio or the comp titles separate from the query letter, and some have asked why their agency.

Regardless of what the agent calls these documents, you pretty much need all three.

Yes, that’s correct. An agent has requested a full for my manuscript and while I really want to work with this agent and I hope the feeling is mutual, I’m going to keep querying until I am signed with an agent. I’m not putting all my eggs into one basket.

Querying Mindset
And this goes to my mindset. I addressed this a bit in the first video about how when I wrote my very first books and queried them a decade ago – a decade, I can’t be that old. 2010. 2023. More than a decade ago. *shocked eyes* – I had the wrong mindset. I found the biggest authors of the time and researched their agents, didn’t even look at the genres they represented, mailed out – yes mail in an envelope, carried by a dinosaur across the country to new york – and crossed my fingers. I wasn’t strategic. I assumed each non-response was a judgment passed on me as a person and then when that mean author cut me down it just validated all those negative feelings.

This time around I’m more of the mindset of, “hey do you want to be business partners in bringing this book to market?” Each rejection still stings, but my first thought isn’t “oh my gosh my writing sucks, I’m a failure” (that’s my second thought), My first thought is okay, this wasn’t the right fit for them right now. Even if they said they were looking for exactly what my book is, well maybe they just signed an author with a similar book and they don’t want competing titles, maybe they are really looking for something different on their MSWL right now, or maybe they just had lunch but the sandwich shop messed up their order and they’re preoccupied. Especially for the agents WHO ACTUALLY SEND A RESPONSE, I’m like, “cool, thank you for letting me know, happy trials.”

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