Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Queries- Round One

It took me longer than I expected to send out the first batch of query letters. I wanted to be thorough in my preliminary research. I would like to share the steps I have thus far taken in the query process. However, before I go any further, I have some important wisdom that published writers have so graciously passed on to me:

A legitimate agent never charges you a fee or money up front, they make money off the sales of your books only. If any agent wants to charge you upfront fees for anything, run the other way.

Now, on to the other important stuff.

I started by researching numerous agents at Query Tracker under the thriller genre. I studied their websites, which generally contained client lists and submission guidelines. I read what others at Query Tracker had to say about them. I conducted a general internet search, checked their reputation at Preditors and Editors, and searched the Bewares section of Absolute Write. Knowledge is power and leads to great success.

For me, success is about how I choose to live this entire query process. I have seen blogs and message boards dedicated to novel rejections, wherein there is a whole lot of complaining and putting down of agents who reject their work. I cannot help but wonder what the expectation is when sending out query letters. I want to find the right match for me and my novel, just as much as the agent wants to find the right book to sell. Rejection is inevitable.

My goal is to have between five and ten query letters in circulation until I find an agent. I realize I need to account for agents who might ask for a limited exclusive to review my manuscript, or who make an offer that I might want to accept. I have no doubt that I will find an agent.

For now, I need to work on my synopsis and other works in progress. I have a first chapter of novel two in the works (it’s an older work I did not complete).

  1. You must write.
  2. You must finish what you write.
  3. You must refrain for rewriting, except to editorial order.
  4. You must put your work on the market.
  5. You must keep you work on the market until it is sold.

This is it for now. Happy writing to all!


Jai Joshi said...

I hope the querying process goes well for you, Susan. And you're right, rejection is inevitable. Writer's have to learn not to take it personally.


Susan Littlefield said...


I received one nice rejection, and one request for a partial. I'm okay with that. I will admit, with the rejection, I felt that sort of "sting." Then, I concluded I have no control over whether an agent agrees to represent me. I can only control the footwork and attitude I put into this whole process.

How is the synopsis going? Have you started queries yet?

Jai Joshi said...

My entire process is not moving at the moment. I've had so many other things to do that I've used as excuses to not get moving on this. Urgh.

That's good news that you had a request for a partial. Good luck!


http://robinofrockridge.wordpress.com/ said...

Wow, Susan, you sure put the effort into you query research. Hang in there--you will be published. Robin

Susan Littlefield said...


Thank you so much! See you soon.

Anonymous said...

Hello Susan,
I just found your blog, and am really enjoying your articles. You sound like a very committed writer, and I appreciate you sharing what you are learning. I too started blogging over a year ago, with focus on combat-related PTSD. I get feedback from so many amazing people. Good luck on your queries. I'm confident you will be successful, with persistence!

Susan Littlefield said...

Hi Charsu50,

Thank you so much. I try to be committed. I still have more work to do before any more queries go out, though.

I enjoy blogging as well, though I don't do it as often as I would like.

Hello, Everyone! I am throwing out a reminder to followers of this blog that I have launched a new website which I am now maintaining at w...