Friday, September 28, 2012

Query Roundup 9/28

Only 93 queries today! Another light week. As of 12:48 pm I am finished!

Today I requested 3 manuscripts.

YA contemporary with a really cool concept and a fun voice.
YA sci-fi. I recently told myself I wouldn't request anymore, but this one just sounded so good.
YA fantasy that sounds amazing.

I swear guys, I'm looking for more adult and MG. But probably 95% of my queries today were YA.

Trying to find an agent via querying is a little like trying to find someone via the internet to be your long distance boyfriend/girlfriend. Anyone who pays attention to pop culture knows that desperation can be a turn off when you're trying to get a date (stage 5 clinger, anyone?). It's also a little scary to agents.

And I get it. If you've written a book, you've put in a lot of hard work and the industry is tough to crack. It's hard to get agents' attentions and you're dealing with something that's really important to you. But when you query, try to turn all of your insecurities and fears off.

You've written a book--that's the art. Now you're querying--that's the business.

Your query is you selling your book. Think about what makes the book stand out, what makes the characters unique, what makes the plot compelling, where it would fit in the market, and then show that as you tell what the book is about.

Be professional and passionate and show off your awesome writing ability. Be confident about it.

Try to avoid: begging, threatening, pleading, oversharing (keep those personal TMI details and the number of rejections out of your query)

Remember your query is similar to what an agent is going to pitch to an editor and what a reader is going to see as the description on the book jacket. No one picked up The Lovely Bones and read that she was rejected everywhere, and no one would want me for an agent if I pitched books by *crying* and saying "If you don't read this, I'll die."

It only takes one yes. There are so many hugely successful authors out there who will tell you all of there horrible rejection stories. Yet here they are.


Giora said...

Both you and your literary agency are known for YA fiction and also known for being good, so that's why you get many queries in this area. You might want to tweet here and there that you also look for women fiction ect. I like what you wrote at the second part. Hopefully young aspiring authors will follow your advice.

Janet Johnson said...

I love the Query Round-up! Amen to it only takes one. :)

L.P. Hernandez said...

Writers can be fickle, can'T THEY?


Tricia Skinner said...

What Giora said is correct. I noticed on Janet Reid's blog, she tagged you with a sort of YA dream agent label. =) She pointed out the need to seek agents who rep a particular genre and do so with gusto (or wild Amazonian war cries). You, Suzie, are the YA Amazon Agent. ;)

Janet Reid said...

There is NO CRYING IN BASEBALL! oh wait...this isn't baseball is it? Why am I holding this catcher's mask and bat?

Seriously...crying in a query is just nutso.

redrum said...
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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?