Pins and Needles

I am a hot mess right now.  I’ve had my face buried in my novel nonstop for three weeks.  I took some time off after I finished my rewrite, (story needed to rest) and I’ve been polishing my query skills and have actually submitted to several agencies.  But, I digress…

The Query.  Ew.  Just ew.  What a painstaking process… I thought childbirth was difficult.  I can say that poking my nose around the blogosphere looking for tips ended in some really enlightening reads.  I found some excellent websites that any author trying to get published who is cussing, screaming, throwing a laptop out the window struggling like I was should definitely check out… First:  AgentQuery.    A million thank you(s) to (no doubt)  tireless efforts that went in to constructing this website.  I’ve lost count how many times I’ve been on this website in the last several days.   When you are ready to look for an agent, this is definitely the place to find one, or at a minimum is a really good starting point.  If you’re looking for dos and don’ts, they’ve got a few of those too.

Second:  Query Shark.  Highly entertaining and loaded with a lot of dialogue about common mistakes, and if you take the time to read through the vast archives, I guarantee you’ll find a shell of your own miserable query in there somewhere.  I know I did.  Thanks to this blog, I identified what was fat and what was not.  And the snark. I love it and will frequent that place for this alone.  (thanks again for helping me abandon my rhetoric… I got that from years of debating)

I tried desperately to adhere to the goal of 250 words for a query, but I just couldn’t do it… I ended up at 340, and it’s the best I can possibly do.   Is my query perfect?  Can’t say, I’m sure some agents will find plenty wrong with it.  But I’ve read it more than 500 times and have rearranged that furniture to the best possible flow and I’m happy with it every time I read it.  And that’s also the best I can do.  Will an agent be intrigued enough to request a partial?  I don’t know…we’ll find out soon since I finally bit the bullet and actually sent it out…I hope I don’t have a heart attack if I get positive feedback.

My first batch were all e-queries, which of course doesn’t cost a thing, but also means I may not get a response.  If I want a nice rejection letter I’ll have to send it to an agent that prefers snail mail and include a SASE.  No response to e-query = rejection.  Let the waiting game begin.  I can always obsessive-compulsively edit my novel and synopsis until I hear something…