# of queries responded to week ending 10.11.2013: 106
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 1
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: urban fantasy
oldest query in the queue: October 6th
How to be a casualty in the query wars 101:
Query too soon.
Here are signs in this week’s queries that the author was querying before they were ready:
* Their debut novel was not completed.
* Using repeat queries every couple weeks with slight tweaks as if taking a sounding.
* Indicating in the query that the manuscript is a rough draft.
* Apologizing in the query for grammatical errors in the sample pages.
Don’t send queries until your novel is completed and edited to the absolute best of your ability. When you think you’re ready to query, spend time on developing that letter and pitch – get feedback before sending it out from writing peers and serious readers. Draft it, let it sit, revise it. A lot of time is spent writing and developing the novel. Some extra time to invest in submitting it will only be a benefit. Remember, there’s only one chance to make a first impression.
A clean, well-crafted query that follows the agent’s guidelines is a thing to be admired. It allows the agent to focus on the concept of the novel and the author’s writing. Whether that yields a positive reply or not, it’s the best opportunity for the story to shine and for the author to find an effective agent match.