Friday, June 29, 2012

Query Roundup

As of 12:45 pm, Friday, June 29th, I'm caught up on queries. That means I have gotten the query inbox down to 0. If you queried me this week and didn't get a response, double check the submission guidelines and send off the query again.

(And I just put up the Auto Response so if you're querying anyone at New Leaf, you should now get the auto response).

This week there were 240 queries in my inbox(es)!

Of those...

I got 3 bouncebacks saying my email wasn't accepted by the domain. (If you have an author site and your email goes through your site, make sure you can get your emails!)

The most common genre this week--Science Fiction. I'm definitely getting a lot of sci fi queries right now, for both adult and YA projects, and even some middle grade (yay)!

Why I rejected most queries--What is your book about?
Most of the time I'm really rejected something because it just doesn't grab me. This doesn't mean it's bad, just that nothing stands out or really jumps out and says UNIQUE!

And this is true for today too, but as I went through my queries there were a high number that I rejected because I couldn't understand what the book was about. I got a high number of queries that talked just about the author and then started in with the pages or had no mention of a main character or the conflict. There were even a few that I couldn't tell what genre the story was either.

And for less extreme examples, there were a number of queries I got (usually fantasy/science fiction) that had a lot of names, terms, and backstory that cluttered the plot and left me confused.

Queries I regrettably passed on--3


YA Historical--I passed because of the werewolf element. If it had just been straight historical I would have requested
YA Contemporary--I passed despite really loving the voice in the pages because the concept sounded too much like something I'd read before.
Adventure MG--I really loved the concept but the pages didn't grab me.

Manuscripts I requested--4


Women's fiction--great concept and killer opening line
Adult urban fantasy--unique concept and amazing voice in the pages
Middle grade mystery--fun concept with great writing (in the query and pages) and a very engaging tone
YA sci-fi ish--this is the closest one to a referral. When I've looked at an author's previous manuscript and really liked it (even if I ended up passing) or when one of my colleagues has done the same, I always want to look at their next project.

12 comments:

Matt Adams said...

Always interesting to read your posts, Suzie. Wishing you all the best of luck with New Leaf.

ashley said...

As someone who submitted this week, thank you so much for a quick response! Getting a rejection is much better than getting nothing. I'm just curious if the ones you "regrettably" passed on would receive a personal rejection with the reasons listed or form rejection?

Sarah said...

I think I got confused about the "synopses are evil" part in your guidelines. I was afraid of including too much, but now I know didn't put enough in! Even though you can't send a personal response to all the queries, I appreciate the feedback on your blog. Thanks!

Suzie Townsend said...

Thanks Matt!

@Ashley, I did personally respond to one of the regrettable passes (the one with the awesome voice). And then I actually just changed my mind about the MG and requested. I'm wondering if maybe the first chapter just needs to be tweaked a little. So it depends a little on whether I'd want to see something else the author wrote whether I'll send a personalized rejection.

@Sarah, oh no! But, I do always say that if you revise your query, it really doesn't hurt to resend. The worst that can happen is I can say no.

timbarzyk said...

Sounds like a #querytip might be to make sure to focus on the conflict -- i.e., not be too dry about describing the story or characters (e.g., simple chain of events, or UNDER-stating conflict).

I imagine this could include the mc's main personal (inner) conflict, as well as the broader story conflict.

Does that sound about right?
Tim

timbarzyk said...

Also wondering if the deluge of SF is growing wearisome? I.e., is there still room for unique voice and interesting story in (near-future) adult scifi?

Thanks Suzie -- Always like your posts and tweets.

Tim
@timbarzyk

Jeanmarie Anaya said...

Suzie, thank you for the quick responses this week. Even a rejection beats a "no response" and the incessant wondering that goes along with it! LOL. Best of luck with the new agency! Looking forward to querying you with other projects down the road!

Jeanmarie Anaya

Becca. said...

My goodness! Congrats on catching up, Suzie! A round of orange soda for everyone! 'Cept for me. I'll be having coffee as I try to catch up on my life...

:)

But I'll take a break for this toast! Here's to an empty inbox on the weekend!

E.L.Pierce said...

I really like this blog. It's good to see why you passed and why you didn't. This is very helpful, Suzie. Thank you.

Teagan Marie said...

Thank you for getting back to me quickly :) I really appreciated it even though it wasn't the response every writer hopes for. It's good to see the feedback here and I will certainly make use of it. Thank you

Teagan Marie said...

Thank you for getting back to me quickly :) I really appreciated it even though it wasn't the response every writer hopes for. It's good to see the feedback here and I will certainly make use of it. Thank you

Monika Pardon said...

Suzie,
Looks like you have some good choices! Quick question about querying you. If an author (aka me) is with an independent publisher and have some work out when querying for another MS, should I mention those novels and give you link or should I scrap that part?
PS, LOVE the name, New Leaf.
:D

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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?