Queries, Queries, Queries

So, I wanted to take a moment to share my experience with querying this time around (so far). A bit of brief background information: I finished WIP mid-June, did a few pretty intense revisions, edited it like it was going out of style, sent it off to some very fabulous readers, then did some more revisions and some more editing. I began sending out queries about two weeks ago, and thus far have sent out nine queries.

The stats so far: four queries are still pending, two agents have replied with polite form rejections, two agents have asked to see partials, and one agent has asked to read the full manuscript. A pretty decent response so far!

Now, please keep in mind that the first project I queried was met with one request for a full and about a thousand no-thank-yous. Not so encouraging to a fairly new writer trying to break into the publishing world with no contacts, no MFA, and no previous publications. During my first dismal effort, I remember reading repeatedly that often writers have to write two or three or four (or twelve) books before they see any sort of positive response. And, I remember thinking, There’s no way I’ll put myself through this again. Querying that first time around was discouraging and sad and frustrating. It was hard to imagine trying again when all I’d been met with were nos.

But then inspiration stuck and I began a new project (WIP, as I’ve so often referred to it here) because—let’s face it—there was no way I was going to just STOP writing. Oddly enough, I finished the manuscript fairly effortlessly and in a fairly short time span—about 7 weeks. Frankly, I kind of love it. I’ve gotten a pretty great response from my readers, too.

So, I begin the process of querying again—and not begrudgingly, like I thought I would. Instead, I’m hopeful. Hesitantly confident, too. It helps that I’ve gotten a decent response from the agents I’ve queried. I’m fairly certain now that my query letter is quality, and that my first ten pages have a good enough balance of character development, tension and backstory to keep an agent curious.

And now I sit in limbo, waiting for responses to my pending queries, waiting (and hoping and praying!) for responses from the agents who’ve asked to see more, sending out more queries, and maintaining a positive outlook on this process and all its craziness.

Mount Rainier last night. Excuse the bulldozer near the bottom. I was driving and just happened to have my camera close enough to snap this. 🙂