letters from the query wars 2.8.2013

# of queries responded to week ending 2.8.2013: 174
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 0
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: n/a

A couple random tips from this side….

* Got an email asking if I was open to queries. In case anyone wasn’t sure, the answer is yes. Though if that person was reading this blog they may have already surmised that from previous posts about queries. Pre-queries just add to response time. And make it clear that the writer hasn’t done much research at all.

* Getting a noticeable number of queries for things with too small of a word count. With regard to adult fiction, I’d prefer at least 80,000 words and preferably around 100,000 words or more (especially if it’s epic fantasy). YMMV with specific subgenres such as cozy mysteries and category romance. In YA, Jennifer Laughran posted this great guide a while back and I still refer to it. Of course, these are just guidelines and there’s always something out there to disprove the rules. But evenso, 26K probably won’t qualify as a novel-length work. Related note — 350,000 words is probably more of a trilogy than “the first novel in a series.”

2 responses to “letters from the query wars 2.8.2013

  1. Since, you’ve brought it up ( 🙂 ), how about 160,000 to 175,000 words for the opening volume in a planned epic fantasy pentalogy?

    Last edits after beta are coming up, with me starting at the upper but hoping to trim to the lower.

    I often see 100,000 to 125,000 words as the preferred limit, but I can tell by browsing in bookstores that a lot of works are exceeding that; woks not necessarily released by top tier authors.


  2. PS, this is an adult novel, not YA at all. It might be possible to market it as “New Adult” if that really does turn out to be a thing. If it were a movie, it would likley get an “R” rating.

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