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Author Topic: Just some comments on using the QT Data Explorer and Agent's Timeline  (Read 110 times)
Munley
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« on: October 12, 2018, 06:05:09 AM »

"Timeline" and "Data Explorer" have a lot more information on agent responses for much longer periods of time than the "Comments" section, which has other interesting information, such as  what some author's request invitation or rejection actually said. I hope that people who note their submission/response/result dates in the Comments section also enter that data on the agent's page so that they are reflected in the agent's overall statistics.

My latest strategy for building an agents-to-query list, particularly which agents to exclude:
Before deciding whether to query an agent, I use the "Data Explorer" to see quickly what genres an agent has actually requested and declined, going back years. "Timeline" will also tell you long-term stats if you click on the box for displaying only submissions that got requests. If you elect to show submissions within a certain time period, the line with your query info will be highlighted in yellow, so you can see where it stands, timewise, in relation to other submissions.

An agent's  QT page and agency web page may say that they are interested in literary fiction, for example, but it could turn out that they rarely, if ever, request it, as shown by these two data tables. Of course, not every author uses QT, and not every author who uses QT records (on the QT agent's page, as opposed to the Comments) the results of a query submission. It's still important to learn what books that agent actually handled.

If an agent says they represent literary fiction and I see requests only for fantasy, mystery, thrillers/suspense, I wonder how many connections that agent has with editors actively looking for literary fiction. The main point of even getting an agent is a foot in doors an author doesn't have access to. Also, the likelihood of my book being something that agent could "fall in love with" seems pretty small.

Having said all that, I just got a request from an agent I queried before coming up with that great strategy for building my query list. The QT data tables show that, in the past 2 years he has requested material only 8 times and every request has been mystery and thriller/suspense. So I was really surprised by his request. My literary novel does involve a crime, but doesn't have the expected mystery genre conventions nor the relentless pace of a thriller. I guess he'll find out that my book is more of a why-dunnit than a who-dunnut, and it considers what will become of the characters involved in the crime.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 08:00:18 AM by Munley » Logged
jessikalindst
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2018, 01:10:42 PM »

Really great thorough comments here and great advice to follow when searching for that perfect agent for your work!  Makes me wish I could be a premium member but I'm not able to at present although I think with what I've seen with others, it'd probably make me crazy checking it constantly. haha ^^;;

I wish I would have paid a bit more attention with my querying, or rather had more of a plan instead of sending test queries for a good portion because I was so new to the process; all I have been doing is picking agents whose represented genres include fantasy/sci-fi, mystery/thriller (my current novel is fantasy with some mystery, mild sci-fi and steampunk). Some I thought would be great fits only to find that it wasn't so with fairly quick rejections or no responses at all. I was actually going to take a break from querying and reassess things when I miraculously got a full request out of the eight or so other queries I have out.

Congratulations on your request too!! I think, from what you've explained here, that your novel sounds intriguing and shows a different perspective (at least to me, I've only ever come across the typical whodunnits) so personally I can see why this agent would make an exception because not at all books have to follow the same formulas obviously, makes reading more fun in my personal view.  Grin
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