Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Query Recap

In honor of Kathleen Ortiz's (who I want as my publicist, think she has time for that?) recent contest featuring Joanna Stampfel-Volpe's honesty regarding all things query.  Here's a break down of the queries I answered tonight.

Total Queries Answered: 41

Form Rejected: 38

The Reasonings....

Just not for me: 11

This isn't a genre I represent: 7

The premise sounds interesting, but I'm not grabbed by the voice in the pages: 5

Themes/Premise too similar to one of my clients' projects: 4

Word count is way too high or too low: 3

I have an angel/demon book already: 3

I'm not sure what the book is about: 2

Query is full of grammatical and spelling errors to the point that it's hard to understand: 1

Writer referred to themselves as the next JK Rowling/Dan Brown/Stephenie Meyer: 1

I'm not sure this is really a query (what's happening?): 1

Requested Full: 3


A. Grey said...

The longer I work at getting an agent, the more rejections - or requests for fulls or partials that end in rejections - I rack up, the more amusing, strangely enough, it is to hear what sorts of queries agents get.

I mean, I wail and pull my hair and assume that I'm doomed (in very high drama) when I'm told that my query was 'too general' because I think of those agents I've already sent to and thusly burned.

But compared to some of the things you guys get... well, reading this makes me laugh AND it shows me that I can fix bland... relatively easily in fact...

Christi Goddard said...

I wonder about the voice that agents speak about they are looking for. In YA, do you want the voice to be that of a teenager? In my YA, it's a third person omnicient, so I wonder if that's wrong or if it shouldn't be YA at all and just Urban Fantasy.

Joanna said...

Christi--I don't know how Suzie feels about this, but I personally think that omniscient is near impossible to do well in YA...but you said third person, so which is it? And even books told in third person have a voice, no? When I'm looking for voice, I'm looking for the voice of the story, which is often the character narrating it. But if it's omniscient, then the query should be in the same tone and voice as the story is--but I can tell you, omniscient definitely turns me right off.

Joanna said...

Great post, Suzie! And umm....seriously. When do you sleep?

Rebs said...

Christi- Keep pursuing 3rd person. 1st person is so overdone in the YA genre right now I can't even bring myself to purchase another book that is written in 1st person. If a book is well written it shouldn't matter if you have written it from 1st or 3rd.

Kathleen Ortiz said...

LOL!!!! You don't NEED a publicist...everyone already knows about you and your fabulousnesnesness...few extra "esses" for emphasis? :)

Kristi said...

It was a great contest but I might just think that because Joanna requested a partial from me. :) I love reading query stats so thanks for this Suzie!

Lisa Desrochers said...

Yes, you do already have a angel/demon book. ;) That's still a pretty high request rate. You work too hard.

Suzette Saxton said...

Fascinating! Thanks for sharing, and may the Time Goblins be good to you next week. ;)

rachelhestondavis said...

I must read this series now IF ONLY for the great plot twists that have been promised! I love not being able to guess where something is going. I am easily bored.

Rachel Heston Davis
Up and Writing

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

wow - how many of those 3 do you usually take on?

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Five Random Things About Suzie

1. I drink so much orange soda, it's probably running through my veins. I've been known to go through a twelve pack of diet sunkist in a day.

2. I'm legitimately nocturnal (or a vampire). I will be so exhausted at two pm that I'm falling asleep standing up - it has happened before, at Six Flags no less - but as soon as the sun goes down I'm wide awake.

3. I have a gorgeous unused $6000 Reem Acra wedding dress hanging in my closet, and it showed up on my doorstep the same day my (now ex) fiance broke up with me. And thank God for that. I wouldn't have wanted to waste that dress on him.

4. Social anxiety plagues me daily. I write a script and practice in front of the mirror when I have to make a phone call, but most people who interact with me have no idea how nervous I am (or perhaps they lie) because I've worked so hard to try to overcome it.

5. I'm actually worried that I will never love my children (when I do have them in the far off future) as much as I love my dogs. I just like animals better than people - they're sweet and innocent and soft and furry - is that so wrong?