letters from the query wars 4.13.2012

# of queries responded to week ending 3.23.2012: 157
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 0
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: n/a

# of queries responded to week ending 3.30.2012: 103
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 0
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: n/a

# of queries responded to week ending 4.6.2012: 141
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 3
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: YA fantasy (1); post-apocalyptic SF (1); dystopian thriller (1)

# of queries responded to this week: 117
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 0
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: n/a

Some observations from these weeks of queries:

* 23,000-odd words is not a novel.

* Querying a debut novel before it is finished, revised, polished and ready to go isn’t a strong position. Also not a good lead: “I have an idea for a novel…”

* Emailing to ask how to query bespeaks a certain lack of attempt at research of same.

* Sending the exact same query/pages X days after it’s been declined isn’t likely to get a different answer.

4 responses to “letters from the query wars 4.13.2012

  1. I love your posts, and I’m not being facetious, but …
    Pencil Of Doom! by Andy Griffiths — 23,000 words
    is it not a novel? How do you classify it (or Wimpy Kid) then? Or do mean for your focus on YA and adult works?
    I ask because my current MG won’t be much longer. I find ‘funny’ stories do tend to be shorter, just so the joke doesn’t end up dragging.

  2. Yikers!! That’s a lot of queries to be going through week after week- less than 1% requested…I don’t envy your job, I know I couldn’t do it! Your tips at the end made me chuckle however…I think if people want it bad enough, they should do a ton of research before querying.

  3. Do you have any advise for those of us who are querying but only receiving form rejections? How might we go about finding out what’s not working with our novel and/or query? (I absolutely understand that agents don’t have the time to specify the reasons they reject every query!) I’ve hade both my novel and query workshopped by writers I trust (and subseqently revised) and I’ve had short stories published before, so I don’t think my novel is a complete wreck.

    I’ve worked really hard on my novel (of course) and it’s kind of breaking my heart that I’ll probably have to bury it without even knowing why.

    Selene

  4. I thought I’d be funny once and send a uniform query letter that read:

    “I apologize for this impersonal query, but due to the sheer volume of rejections I recieve, I’ve found its saves time.”

    LOL…yea. It was ONLY funny to me.

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