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Author Topic: Querying Agents  (Read 1338 times)
Jilguera
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« on: March 13, 2017, 07:54:58 PM »

So I'm hoping in the next month or so my query/synopsis will be ready to be launched into the agenting pool. I've always heard you can never really tell if a query is good until you query it. I have my dream team of agents. Those that would just be perfect if they choose to represent me. My question is since this is my first query should I send to the dream team as well or perhaps send it to a few of my lesser choices first to test the waters?
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lannshin
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2017, 08:24:25 PM »

I'd send it to a few of lesser choices first to test the waters, but that's just me.
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Jilguera
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2017, 10:14:51 PM »

Thank you. This sounds like a really good idea, again thanks!
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Sarah Ahiers (Falen)
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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2017, 08:05:01 AM »

Definitely lesser agents. I always liked to send it to 1-2 fast responders. Because I would hear back really quickly one way or another. And if they requested the manuscript, then I sent out a full batch of ten to whomever I wanted.
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EmbarkPier54
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« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2017, 09:19:18 AM »

I would say, just be sure to have a game plan for how you'll proceed if any of your lesser agents offers representation before you've had a chance to query your first choice agents.
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kwill79
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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2017, 01:56:10 PM »

I'd do the lesser agents for sure!
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koji
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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2017, 07:44:10 AM »

Lesser for sure.

But at the same time keep in mind that the reason your dream agents are likely your dream agents is that they seem like a good fit for you- their style/previous work etc. matches yours. So, if you send your query out to throwaway agents just to see if there are any bites on the query, you might not get requests because you're too far out of the agent's wheelhouse. So instead of going way down your list, maybe choose a couple of your top 15 or so agents.
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MookyMcD
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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2017, 10:36:32 PM »

I'd do a mixed bag. Some "A list" some "B list" and some "Cs." The only MS I've queried had a bizarre relationship with agents, and I went something like 80% with "A list" agents, but 0% with the "Cs." I was 3 for 3 sending unsolicited queries to Rockstar agents who said they don't take unsolicited queries, and 0 for 4 on newly minted agents actively looking for manuscripts. I think scattering your queries a bit can be helpful.
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Jackskellington
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« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2017, 05:37:15 AM »

I am in the same boat. I am going to send my query to a few agents who are on my target list but are further down on the list. After their response (or lack thereof), I'll move onto my dream agents (and will hopefully have some constructive feedback to utilize when querying them).
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Theknight
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« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2018, 03:21:49 PM »

I don't see how querying lesser agents is going to build a better query. In my 80 or so rejects, no agent or publisher has ever offered me any advice of why they didn't like the query or how I could make it better. I use my writer friends and forums to build the best possible query I can before I send it out, and I only target agents I think would be a good fit. I'm not eve sure what a 'lesser' agent is.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2018, 03:42:15 PM by Theknight » Logged
gckatz
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« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2018, 09:40:21 PM »

Quote
I don't see how querying lesser agents is going to build a better query.

It shows you whether what you have is actually working or not. While forums like this can be excellent tools for improving your query, ultimately we're only offering our own opinions, and the only meaningful test of a good or bad query is whether it gets results. It's possible to have a perfectly forum-polished query that gets no requests, or something that breaks all the conventional rules and gets a great response. You wouldn't want to burn through all your favorite agents in the process of figuring out that agents just don't like how your query is worded.
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MookyMcD
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« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2018, 12:07:11 AM »

 agree
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 12:09:26 AM by MookyMcD » Logged

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Theknight
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« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2018, 06:54:43 AM »

Quote
I don't see how querying lesser agents is going to build a better query.

It shows you whether what you have is actually working or not. While forums like this can be excellent tools for improving your query, ultimately we're only offering our own opinions, and the only meaningful test of a good or bad query is whether it gets results. It's possible to have a perfectly forum-polished query that gets no requests, or something that breaks all the conventional rules and gets a great response. You wouldn't want to burn through all your favorite agents in the process of figuring out that agents just don't like how your query is worded.

This whole process is subjective and revolves around a particular person's opinion whether they want to represent your work or not. My last round of queries I sent out 12 and got a request for full. Each query was tailored to the specific agent I wrote to, however the pitch for the story was the same for each agent. So based on that, how could I possibly deduce whether it was successful or not? I got a request for a full  clap So it was a good query, right? Eleven agents sad no.  Cry So it sucked, right?
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Sarah Ahiers (Falen)
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« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2018, 08:44:45 AM »

10% request rate is generally considered to be a really good query.

If you're sending out queries and getting requests for partials or fulls, then your query is working and you can send it to anyone you want to.

But until you start to get requests, it's generally considered best practice to pick a few agents who are maybe fast responders and maybe not your "dream" agent to see if your query is working. If they bite, then query widely.

If you send 10 queries and no one bites, then maybe take another look at the query.
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Jackskellington
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« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2018, 03:27:34 PM »

I am in a similar boat. I am querying agents two weeks from today with a pb manuscripts. I only have a group of 16 agents because they are the primary agents accepting fiction pb manuscripts from author who are not illustrators. I have a group of 2 A agents (I already know one said he is pretty full and only will sign people who blow him away with an original voice). Then I have 6 B agents. And finally, I have 10 C agents.

For the next two weeks I am going to continue to tweak my query letter and ms and try and get some feedback on both from fellow writers as well as family and friends. I'll probably initially send the query and ms to 1/2 of of my C agents and 1/2 of my B agents - so 8 agents total. Depending on that response, I'll either tweak the query and/or ms and send to the remaining B and C agents (8 agents again) or I'll submit to my two A agents right away. I may even try to find some more C agents, if they're out there, to test the ms on. But I also want to be careful that I don't get simultaneous interest and then have to turn down offers without having even sent the query to my two A agents. I'm querying with a pb so it should be easier to get quick responses. But, I'm still going to do research and see who from my B and C list responds the fastest and then use them to test my materials on.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 03:31:14 PM by Jackskellington » Logged
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