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So, who has queried agents before?


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Wes, before you go anywhere near an agent or publisher DO THIS:

 

1. Get your MS professional proofed/edited - yes, you may have done it to death and speak English as your first language and written since you could hold a pen, but you are to close to it to see the errors.

 

2. Research the market for similar writers and books to yours. You will need to be able to provide this info to the agent/publisher as part of your query package.

 

3. Write a 1-sentance elevation pitch - this is NOT a blurb but a summary of WHO, WHERE & WHAT IS AT STAKE. This should go in your query letter. (google for info on how to write both).

 

4. Write a 1 page synopsis.

 

5.  Get someone to look all  of these over and give feedback.

 

THEN and only then draw up a list of agents/publishers. Send a couple out to those at the bottom of your list because you will almost certainly get rejected so keep the good ones that matter back. Revise, and send out another batch - repeat until you hit the jackpot.

Good luck.

AND remember when that rejection email comes back (if it comes back at all) that they are not rejecting you or your writing but the moment in time you sent it to them. Books are selling, particularly e-books, but not many newbies are being taken on - agents are struggling to keep the awarding best selling authors in the market.

 

Sorry, but this is the reality. 

 

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I have queried some. Been rejected by all. Did garner several personal notes. In fact, the very first book I ever wrote got a multiple-page, hand-written rejection. At the time I was disappointed and mostly annoyed that he would detail all the things that were wrong with my perfect baby!

 

Over time I recognized how honored I was that he spent all that time to help me become a better writer! Personal responses are priceless.

 

BTW, that original book I wrote ultimately took me 17 years to finish. A little bit at a time, whenever I learned something new about writing! I ended up indie publishing it but I love that book because it represents my growth as a writer.

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I was the query trenches for two years before I got a deal. It's a long and often discouraging process! @Shamrock has some good advice. 

 

I'd say be sure you read up on an agent/agency/publisher's requirements before you submit. Some want a query letter, others want a full proposal (even for fiction - previously this was often only used for nonfiction). All of them will have different requirements for what is in the query or proposal, so you can't really have a standard query letter to send to everyone. I must have 30 different versions of my queries/proposals saved.

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