Author Topic: Back in the trenches--thoughts about querying.  (Read 345 times)

Offline Sandbox

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Back in the trenches--thoughts about querying.
« on: June 08, 2021, 02:01:06 PM »
I've been away for quite a while..hi to all the old-timers!....but now find myself back at querying. I have only sent a small number out within the last three weeks hoping to get an idea if the query and pages are working. So far,I have a partial request, but a lot of silence. This is certainly different from what I have experienced in the past. I get the impression that there is a huge amount of wait time because agents are even more inundated. I'm not sure how to even approach querying now--fighting with myself not to send a bunch out...then again, maybe I should send a bunch out.... Ugh.

SB

Offline jcwrites

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Re: Back in the trenches--thoughts about querying.
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2021, 02:25:19 PM »
If anything's changed since you began your sabbatical, it's that agents focus more on the writer's "social presence"—how many "followers" and stuff—from which they somehow divine the poor sod's marketability and from this whether to read the QL. (Hey, their time's valuable, just ask 'em.)

Offline audrawinter

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Re: Back in the trenches--thoughts about querying.
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2021, 11:32:07 PM »
Welcome back!

I had something similar happen to me. Queried about two years ago, then paused and stepped back. Previously, I'd send out lots of queries at once, but this time around, I've had more success sending out to 2-3 agents at a time periodically (I do it every one to two weeks). That way, if I need to tweak my querying package, I have time to make changes.

I can agree with jcwrites here - as soon as I gained a large following, I got bites on my query letter and manuscript. I had no idea agents were so focused on media presence.

Although, with an increased media over books, I do think that a lot of agents are getting bombarded by queries right now, hence longer wait times.

Offline jonny_555

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Re: Back in the trenches--thoughts about querying.
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2021, 03:43:00 AM »
Ugh . . . it's so disheartening for those who don't play the SM game.

That being said, does the general message from agents that you don't need a platform as a querying fiction writer now no longer hold water?
« Last Edit: June 09, 2021, 03:48:26 AM by jonny_555 »
Find the blessing in your curse

Offline audrawinter

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Re: Back in the trenches--thoughts about querying.
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2021, 04:51:54 PM »
Ugh . . . it's so disheartening for those who don't play the SM game.

That being said, does the general message from agents that you don't need a platform as a querying fiction writer now no longer hold water?

I wouldn't think so. I think, if anything, having a platform just increases the chances of an agent being interested. I've only seen a couple of agents out there who have a "if you don't have a large platform, don't query me" rule, and quite honestly, they're on my do not query list because of it.

I began querying without a platform at all two years ago, and I got more responses two years ago than I do now. I think there's been a lot of media focus on reading lately, between a rise in #BookTok and Bookstagram. Just by how many people I saw in the young adult section in Barnes & Noble the other day, I have a suspicion that agents are very busy right now.

Offline Munley

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Re: Back in the trenches--thoughts about querying.
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2021, 06:28:39 PM »
Hi, Sandbox, welcome back.

I kinda wonder if, like most of us, agents are taking advantage of the loosened Covid restrictions to do so many things we haven't been able to during the spiking numbers. In my case, I am refusing freelance-opportunities.

I live in Canada. Got to see new granddaughter, who was born in the USA at the start of the Pandemic, only once, when she was already 7 months old. No way I'm putting my time into an optional project when the border re-opens, and I have a chance to spend time with family on the other side.

Summer is usually slower in getting  responses to queries anyway.

Offline kciswriting

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Re: Back in the trenches--thoughts about querying.
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2021, 06:35:08 PM »
Ugh . . . it's so disheartening for those who don't play the SM game.

That being said, does the general message from agents that you don't need a platform as a querying fiction writer now no longer hold water?

Don't be discouraged! I don't play the SM game either. And I disagree that agents are more focused on the writer's social presence now--it depends on what you write. If you are a non-fiction writer, definitely yes. But if you are a fiction writer, no. A partner-level agent even said that he'd rather you not have a Twitter account than have one but say the wrong things that alienate readers (and if he sells your book, he can help you build your social presence.)

Just write a damn great book and you'll be fine.