# of queries responded to last week: 84
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 1
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: crime novel
# of queries responded to this week: 193
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 0
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: n/a
From a comment on a previous query wars post:
Authors tend to moan about how the game is rigged against them, but you make your living off this too. I’m making an assumption there; I guess you could moonlight as a hired gun. But considering that this is your livelihood, do odds like those posted above make you balk a bit as well? I’m sure you’d rather be inundated with good material than having to waste time on Grandma’s 8 query letters for lil’ Billy. As an author it can be hard to keep sending query after query after query. As an agent, how do you maintain your tenacity in receiving [bad] query after [awful] query after [terrible] query?
Moonlight as a hired gun, hmm…. Let’s not talk about my private life.
Last week, I had intended to post about why I was thankful for the query system. Then, the holiday caught up with me. This comment above tangentially touches on that aspect, though.
Maybe my perspective of the odds after so many queries has just been simplified. If I take a step back and look at the sheer number of queries and the percentage of requests, then sure, I might end up wondering about the effectiveness of mining them. However, if I try to think of each query as a point of possibility — of discovery — that changes the picture. Sure, some of them will be wrong for me. Some of them probably shouldn’t have been sent to me in the first place. But it only takes one.
And without the query system, I could take a long look at how empty my client list would be. Some of those clients came by referral. But a lot of them – including the two I’ve signed up so far this year – sent me a query.
What about tenacity from the writers side? How do you keep sending query after query until you find a home for your story?